Child Performance & Chaperone Licences

Children in entertainment (stage, film, television, radio, modelling and sport) need to have a licence to take part in the performance or activity.

Such children must be supervised at all times, either by their parent or guardian or by an approved Chaperone.

We issue Child Performance Licences and Chaperone Licences to protect children in entertainment and make sure that their experience is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.

Child Performance Licences

A Child Performance Licence is required:

  • for all children up to the end of their compulsory education. This is defined as the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16
  • when a charge is made in connection with the performance. This applies whether the performers are paid or not
  • when the performance takes place at licensed premises or a registered club
  • when the performance is recorded to be broadcast or exhibited (for example on TV, radio, film, internet etc)

Any child aged 14 or over (up until compulsory school leaving age) must have a license to go abroad for the purpose of:

  • singing
  • playing (a musical instrument)
  • performing or being exhibited for profit (including any broadcast performance)
  • taking part in a sport
  • working as a model (where payment is made to the child other than expenses for taking part in the activity)

A Child Performance Licence is not required:

  • for school performances (not including dance schools: a licence is required for performances in dance schools)
  • for certain amateur groups (a Body of Persons) where a whole group licence is sufficient and no payment is made to the child
  • for an activity that we do not consider is a performance
  • if the child is required to perform for one day and, in the 6 months preceding that performance, the child has not exceeded the 3 day unlicensed exemption period and they do not require time off school (paid or unpaid)

In order to issue a licence for a child to take part in any performance, we must be satisfied that:

  • the child’s education, health and wellbeing will not suffer
  • the place and conditions of the performance are satisfactory
  • the head teacher of the child’s school gives consent if the child will miss any school
  • the conditions of the licensing regulations are observed

Types of licence

A Standard Licence is required for performances which run on specific days with a specific production company.

A Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) can be issued by us for a specific performance or a limited period of time for performances taking place in Sheffield. It means that you don't have to apply for individual licenses from each child's local authority. The organisation putting on the performance should apply for the BOPA. Any organisation can apply as long as no payment (other than expenses) is made for the child to take part.

Unlicensed authorisation is granted where a licence is not required but we have been notified of the performance.

Apply for a Child Performance Licence

A number of forms are available to download for the various types of licence, including the head teacher permission form, which you may need to complete if the performance is during school time. Please use the DFE guidance and the checklist to make sure you submit everything required.

You can contact us with any questions or to submit your application for a licence.

Chaperone licence

Children who take part in performances must be supervised at all times. This must be by either their parent or guardian or by an approved Chaperone.

Unless appointed by the courts, grandparents, aunts, uncles, childminders etc are not legal guardians. Parents may only supervise their own child, unless they are an approved registered Chaperone.

Chaperones should exercise the same care that a good parent might be reasonably expected to give a child. The child should always be the Chaperone's priority. If the child is requested to do something in a performance that may affect their health, wellbeing or education, the Chaperone must say no.

Chaperones should never hand a child in their care over to, or let a child be examined by, any other person. The only exceptions to this are when prior approval from parents has been given, or in an emergency. Even in an emergency, this should only be under the supervision of a doctor, police officer in uniform, a qualified first aider or other similar person.

Apply to be a Chaperone

If you want to be a registered Chaperone and you pay Council Tax in Sheffield, you must apply using the application form below.

Your application will be checked and references will be taken as part of the application process. You will need to provide contact details of 2 referees who have known you for at least 2 years.

If we have not received both of your references back within 4 weeks of us contacting your referees then your application will be archived and you may have to reapply.

Once we receive both of your references, you’ll be asked to make an appointment with us for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You cannot be registered as a Chaperone until we receive your DBS clearance. This can take 6 weeks or more.

The Chaperone licences and DBS checks are free for volunteers. There is a DBS charge for people who want to be paid to be a Chaperone.

Volunteer Chaperone licences are valid for 1 year. Paid or Professional Chaperones' licences are valid for 3 years. To renew a licence you will have to go through the full application procedure.

Chaperones can use the Venue Checklist to make sure children remain safe and healthy while performing.


We can make regular inspections without prior notice at places of entertainment in Sheffield. These inspections are normally done by the Child Employment and Entertainment Team. They could also include a Fire Officer or Health and Safety Inspector or a Police Officer. The inspectors will make themselves known to the Chaperone on arrival and provide proper identity cards.