Performance licence

In February 2015, the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 came into force. All performance licences will be issued according to these regulations. View the DfE guidance on child performances.

By law, if a child who is not over compulsory school age is participating in TV or film work, a theatrical production, modelling work or a sporting event he or she may require to be licensed by the local authority.

A child or young person may not require a licence if all of the following conditions apply:

  • no payment is made to the child/young person or to any other person in relation to their participation
  • no absence from school is required
  • the child has not taken part in performances in the previous six months on more than three days or the performance is arranged by a school or by a body approved for the purpose by the Secretary of State or local education authority e.g. scout gang shows.

If your child is taking part in a performance/modelling or sporting event please email for advice on whether a licence is required.

To obtain a performance licence an application form needs to be completed by the person responsible for the production of the performance and the parent of the child or young person.

Supporting documentation may also be required depending on the nature of the application. These can include:

  • a letter from a school giving permission for absence
  • a doctor's letter confirming the child or young person is fit to take part
  • a copy of the child or young person's birth certificate

By law, local authorities may refuse any performance licence application which is received less than 21 days before the first date of the performance.

If a licence application is received less than 21 days before the first date of the performance, the local authority may agree to process the application providing all relevant documents are correctly completed, legible and received at least ten working days prior to the performance date.

The local authority counts the day the application is received as one whole day (provided that it is a working day and that the application is received by 5pm). The date of the performance is not counted.

Working days are all days the Education Welfare Service is open for business - weekends and public holidays are not working days.