Child performance licences and exemptions

Children in entertainment could include young people who are involved in activities such as:

  • stage
  • film
  • television
  • radio
  • modelling
  • sport

They need to have a licence from us to take part in any performance or event. 

You will need a licence for professional and amateur performances but not for school performances.

You will need either a child performance licence for each individual child. Or you can apply for a Body of Persons Approval that will cover all children involved your performance.

These children need be supervised at all times, either by their parent or guardian or by an approved chaperone. 

If children are not accompanied at all times by their parents, then you will also need an approved chaperone for each child.

Who you need licences for

You will need a licence for all children under 16 and any performers who are 16 years old up to the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16.


Licences are issued free of charge.

When you don't need a licence

You don't need a licence or approval from us if:

  • no payment is being made for the child’s involvement in the performance
  • there will be no absence from school
  • the child has not performed on more than 4 days in the previous 6 months

You still need to ask us to provide and approve your exemption before any child can perform. They will still need a chaperone or guardian with them. 

Fill in and send us the exemption authorisation form to apply for an exemption

National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment

The National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE) is an association of (mostly) local authority officers. They have responsibility for licensing children of compulsory school age who are working part-time or taking part in performances and entertainment. 

Other organisations and individuals working in (or with an interest in) the field of child employment and performance licensing are also welcome.

The NNCEE has members from all over the UK working together to improve working conditions and safeguarding for children in employment and entertainment. They have guides on all aspects of child performance regulations, as well as offering training and sharing good practice.

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