Child performance licence

A child performance licence must be obtained if a child under compulsory school leaving age (from birth up to the end of the school year that the child turns 16 years old) takes part in a public performance or activity or if any of the following apply:

  • They will be absent from school (the absence is to be authorised by the child’s Headteacher).
  • An audience is paying to watch the performance.
  • The child is being paid for the performance or someone else is receiving payment for the child’s performance.
  • The child will perform on more than 4 days in 6 month period.
  • The child is participating in paid sporting activities.
  • The child is participating in modelling work, including photography sessions, fashion shoots or catwalk shows.


A child does not require a performance licence when:

  • 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 (a child can possibly perform for 4 days in a 6 month period without the need for a licence).
  • The child does not require any time off school (paid or unpaid).
  • The performance is under arrangements made with School or a Body of Persons (Body of Persons exemptions can be granted by a Local Education Authority of Secretary of State if certain criteria are met).
  • No payment is made to the child or any other person (except for expenses).

How to apply

The rules governing children in entertainment covers children who take part in 'performances', including all broadcast performances, child photography or modelling. Any child engaged in these occupations must have a licence issued by the local authority.

Access to Education is responsible for the administration of the Children (Performances) Regulations (1968), the Children (Performances) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (1998) [Children and Young Persons Act].

This includes:

  • Issuing and monitoring the licences for children to perform in theatre, television, film and modelling
  • Issuing and monitoring the licences of chaperones.

The application for a licence must be completed by the person responsible for the performance, and signed by the parents and accompanied by a photograph.

The local authority must be satisfied that arrangements for the supervision and protection of the child are adequate and that the disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum.

Apply for a performance licence for a child

Access to Education (performance)

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 8944