Children in entertainment and activities

Child performances and activities are regulated by The Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963 and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.


Child performances and activities also include children taking part in modelling work and paid sport.

The performance licence guidance highlights that local authorities require 21 days' notice, from receipt of the fully completed application, to process a licence. Whilst the local authority will issue licences as quickly as possible, it can only guarantee the issue of a licence if the full application is received in time.

Licenses to perform

All children who take part in public performances, from birth up to the last Friday in June of the school year in which they reach their sixteenth birthday, require a licence to perform.

When a licence is required

  • When there is an absence from school
  • When money changes hands from the audience or in payment to the child or another person
  • When a child performs for more than four days in any six month period
  • When a child is employed in modelling or sporting activities.

When an exception can apply

  • When no payment is being made to the child or another person, other than a contribution to expenses
  • When there is no absence from school.

Who is the licensing authority?

This is usually the local authority where the child lives.

Applications for the licence or exemption

The named person responsible for the production in which the child will take part applies for the licence. This person is known as the licence holder. 
The applicant must submit all sections of the application form, together with the required documentation, before the application will be processed.

Information to be given about the number of days for which a licence is required

If absence from school is required, then the actual dates of the performances and rehearsals are needed. Where dates are unknown, the number of days and the period of the performance or activity must be given.

Rehearsals and the affect on a licence

Rehearsals taking place during the performance period will require a licence and count towards the number of days allowed. If absence from school is required for the purpose of a rehearsal this absence will need to be considered by the headteacher.

Chaperones for a child licenced to take part in a public performance

A child licenced to take part in a public performance must be supervised by a chaperone approved by the licensing authority at all times, unless they are under the direct supervision of their parent, a teacher from their school or home tutor.

For further details about the role of chaperone please contact us, email: cayaewscee@derbyshire.gov.uk on tel: 01629 538139.

Related documents

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