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Child performance licences

Children and young people must be safe and protected from overwork and exploitation. Their health, well-being and education must not suffer if taking part in performances. You must apply for either a licence or an exemption for child performances. Compliance is a legal requirement.

Do I need a licence? 

A licence is needed for children and young people from birth to a school leaving age - who take part in performances, modelling or paid sport: 

  • Where school absence is required
  • Where he/she has performed on four or more days in a six month period
  • Where a child or young person is paid.

A licence is not required for: 

  • Performances organised by a registered educational establishment (like a school or academy)

A licence is also not required for:

  • An activity that is not considered to be a performance – for example, children being filmed doing school lessons
  • If a child has not performed on more than 4 days in any six month period
  • Where no payment is made to the child or any other person except for expenses
  • When absence from school is not required.

Who should apply? 

The person responsible for the performance should apply for the licence. Please note that licences can take up to 21 days to process, and therefore you are advised to submit the paperwork in good time.

How much does a licence cost?

There is no charge for a child performance licence.

How to apply 

Complete our online form: Apply for a child performance/activities licence

and return it to us with: 

  • Proof of Date of Birth (photocopy of birth certificate or passport)
  • Two passport sized photographs
  • A copy of the child’s contract/schedule.

Performance exemptions

You can complete this form using the link below:

Absence from school

A school declaration form should be completed by the Head Teacher for all performances unless taking place in the school holidays. Please ensure you confirm the term dates for the school the child attends as they vary between schools and local authorities. You can view and download the school declaration form on the following link:

The decision to authorise absence from school for performances rests with the Head Teacher or Principal. 

Absences for unlicensed performances cannot be authorised. 

Medical declaration form

The medical declaration form needs to be completed for all performance licence applications. Any application received without the medical declaration form will not be processed. 


The person responsible for the performance should make arrangements for licensed chaperones or the child’s own parent to supervise the children at all times when not performing. 

More about chaperones