Child performance licensing

If a child takes part in TV, film, theatre, modelling, dance shows, pantos, amateur dramatics, music groups and paid sport, they may require a performance licence and a licenced chaperone.

A child performance licence is required:  

  • for children from birth up to the end of their compulsory education (the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16)
  • when a charge is made in connection with the performance, 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


Exemptions only apply where no payment is received other than expenses and do not apply to paid sport or modelling, the exemptions are: 

  • The four day rule

If a child has not performed on more than three days in the last six months, they will not need a licence for performance on a fourth day.

Once a child has performed on four days in a six-month period a licence is required for any further performances unless one of the other exemptions below applies. 

If a child is to be absent from school this exemption cannot be relied upon - a licence will be required. 

  • Body of persons approval (BOPA) 

The organiser of a performance involving children can apply for a BOPA which covers all children in one approval, rather than individual licences for each child.

Any organisation can apply for a BOPA as long as no child is paid.

If granted, a BOPA removes the need to apply for an individual licence for each child.

The decision to issue a BOPA is at the discretion of the council which will want assurance of clear and well-embedded policies for safeguarding children.

Applications for a BOPA should be made to the local authority where the performance is taking place, even if the children taking part live elsewhere.

If necessary, conditions may be imposed to ensure the well-being of the children involved and approvals may be revoked if these are not met. 

If a child is to be absent from school this exemption cannot be relied upon - a licence will be required. 

  • Performances organised by a school 

This exemption does not include dance or drama schools which must apply for licences where necessary.  

You are legally required to ask for a licence when one is required.

Any person who causes or procures any child to do anything in contravention of the licensing legislation can be prosecuted whether a child is performing under licence or not, the same duty of care applies.   

Application process

Regulated under the Children Young Person Act 1933/63 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.

You need to give no less than two weeks notice to process an application for a child performance licence or we cannot guarantee that it will be processed on time.

Download the Child performance licence application (pdf)

Complete and return the application form with:

  • a copy of the child's birth certificate
  • two identical photographs of the child
  • a copy of the contract, draft contract or other particulars of the agreement regulating the child's appearance in the performances or regulating the activity for which the licence is requested
  • the child protection policy or policies that the applicant will apply
  • the risk assessment for the performance or activity (if completed)
  • a letter from the headteacher of the school that the child currently attends agreeing to the child's absence from school or education and stating that the child's education and well-being will not be adversely affected
  • the medical declaration completed and signed by the child’s parent


Email [email protected] with any queries.


Privacy notice - Child performance licence (pdf)