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Apply for a Child Performance Licence

You must get a performance licence if there are children taking part in a performance you are producing or organising (as long as they are not exempt). We issue licences to protect a child’s education, health, safety and welfare.

When a licence is needed

A child performance licence is needed for children from birth to the end of compulsory school age (end of year 11). The Local Authority where the child lives will issue the licence.

You will need a licence for a performance if it is:

  • charged for - whether that charge is for admission or in payment to the child or another person
  • taking place on licensed premises (eg a theatre, public house or a hotel)
  • paid sport or photographic or stills modelling
  • for a child performing more than 4 days in any 6-month period (over one or more performances)
  • going to need a child to take absence from school

Children performing without a licence could be breaking the law and the production company can be at risk of prosecution.

When a licence is not needed

You will not need a licence for:

  • a child performing up to 4 days over 6 months as long as no time is taken off from school and no payment is made to the child or any other person
  • school performances
  • a performance produced by an organisation which has BOPA (Body of persons approval), as long as no time is taken off from school and no payment is made to the child or any other person
  • activities we don’t consider as performances such as children being filmed taking part in normal activities and not as part of a performance (eg doing school lessons or playing in the park)

'Open licences' (licences that are issued without all the information complete) are not available.  An application needs to be completed for each performance or activity, with all the required information, for it to be legal.

Register children who do not need a licence to perform

For performances where you do not need a licence we will still need you to register the children taking part in the performance.

Complete the exemption / register a child form     Opens new window

Post your completed form to the Child Performance and Employment Team.

Performing abroad

Children performing abroad will also need a licence but these are not issued by us.  Applicants will need to contact the magistrates’ court nearest to where they live.   List of Magistrates’ courts in Leicester.

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