Entertainment licences for children

What can a child or young person participate in, information about children's performance licences, who needs to apply for a licence, what are the regulations of children in entertainment and are there any exemptions where no licence is required.

Is there any general guidance available for children in entertainment?

Please download the following leaflet for general guidance about children in entertainment.

Children in Entertainment - General Guidance Leaflet (pdf 208kb)

Can a child or young person participate in modelling, stage, film or television performance or a paid sporting event?

Yes they can. Any child from birth to the end of compulsory school age, who wishes to undertake any kind of performance, modelling or paid sport but will require a performance licence from the local authority.

Apply for a Performance Licence

Please use the forms available to download below to apply for a licence:

Performance Licence Application (pdf 69kb)

Performance Licence Application (word 56kb)

Can you tell me about children's performance licences?

Applications for a performance licence are made by the person responsible for the production of the performance in which the child is to take part, usually the production company or theatre. A licence for children taking part in performances is issued for the specified performance and for the duration of the specified performance (not exceeding 6 months).

A licence will be issued  taking into account the current regulations including the number of hours the child will be required on set, will there be any late nights required, etc. and the education welfare service is satisfied that all guidelines are being met.

The performance application form is in 2 parts, both parts being contained in the same document available to download below.

Part I is completed by the applicant.

Part II is to be completed by the child's parent or carer.

Once Part I and Part II have been fully completed, the following documentation must be attached:

  • two passport size photographs of the child taken within the last six months;
  • a copy of the child's birth certificate;
  • a completed parental declaration of health form, letter from child's parent stating they are fit and healthy or a medical certificate or letter from the child's doctor or a registered doctor stating they are fit and healthy;
  • a letter from the child's headteacher authorising any absences they may need to have;
  • and the fully completed form with all relevant documentation.

Performance Licence Application (pdf 144kb)

Body of Persons Approvals (pdf 100kb)

Performance Licence Application (word 190kb)

Children in Entertainment Body of Persons - FAQs (pdf 178kb)

The above documentation can then be sent to:

The Education Welfare Service
Room AF48
County Hall
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA

Email: education.welfare@eastriding.gov.uk

Who should apply for a performance licence?

The person responsible for the production of the performance should apply for the licence.

Application should be made to the local authority where the child lives. This may be different to the local authority of the child's school and where the production is to take place.

The person who signs the licence is the licence holder and as such is responsible for the compliance with the conditions of the licence.

Application must be made at least 21 working days before the date of the first performance otherwise the local authority may refuse to grant a licence.

What are the regulations on children in entertainment, modelling and paid sport?

The participation of children in public performances is governed by:

  • The Children and Young Persons Act 1963 S37, the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968;
  • The Children (Performances) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998 and the Children (Performance) Amendment Regulations 2000.

The purpose of the law in this regard is not to prohibit children from taking part in performances, but to ensure that they are able to do so without risk of harm to their health, education or welfare.
Performances under Section 37(2) of the 1963 Act defines performances within the regulations below:

  • carries a charge whether for admission or other purposes, or
  • takes place on premises licensed for public performances, or
  • is broadcast, or
  • is recorded with a view to use in broadcasts, or otherwise for public exhibition.

If a child under compulsory school leaving age performs in:

  • broadcast/recorded performances - eg. TV or filming
  • a theatre performance - where a charge is made, or
  • modelling or sport - where the child or any other person is paid (a "wage" rather than an admission charge) or
  • in licensed premises - a Child Performance Licence must be obtained.

For a summary of the basic legislation relating to licences required for children taking part in entertainment, please visit:

National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment (external website)

For full acts and regulations, visit:

Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) (external website)

Are there exemptions where a licence is not required?

A licence is not required:

  • Regulation 37(3)a
    If, in the 6 months preceding a performance, the child has not exceeded the 3 day unlicensed exemption period (including the proposed activity) and
  • They do not require time off school (paid or unpaid) and
  • No payment is made to the child or any other person, except defraying expenses.


  • Regulation 37(3)(b)
    The performance is under arrangements made with an "approved body of persons";
  • we would require a child to be licensed if absence from school is required for any performance, irrespective of the above.

To apply for a licence you can download the child performance licence application form and read the accompanying guidance notes, or contact:

The Education Welfare Service
Tel: (01482) 394000
Email:  education.welfare@eastriding.gov.uk

Performance Licence Application (pdf 144kb)

Performance Licence Application (word 190kb)

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