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Performance licences for children

School aged children who perform in television, film, on stage, in commercial work, who work as models or take part in paid or professional sport will require a performance licence.

Where do I apply for a licence?

Make sure you are applying for a licence through the right local authority (LA). If you're not part of DCC, contact your LA:

You can find out your LA by selecting your location on our map (opens in a new window).

What is a performance licence?

A performance licence outlines the arrangements in place for a child to take part in a performance. It's issued by the LA of the child. The licence is needed before the performance takes place. An adult responsible for the production, such as a producer, must apply for licence. The licence must be held on set in case of an inspection.

To find out about the legislation around performances licences, see the Children and Young Persons Act (opens in a new window).

Who needs a performance licence?

All children age 0 to 16 years*:

  • perform in television, on film or stage
  • take part in commercial work
  • work as models
  • take part in paid or professional sport

*Up until the last Friday in June of the school year in which they are 16 and leaving year 11.

In some cases a child performance licence may not be needed. We will consider an exemption when the child:

  • has not performed for more than 4 days in the previous 6 months
  • isn't getting paid
  • doesn't need to take time off school

What will you need to apply for a licence?

You will need a:

  • passport sized photo
  • a copy of the child's Birth Certificate or valid passport
  • a letter from the school authorising time off school (if needed)

You will need a medical certificate (valid for 6 months from date of issue) if a child is taking part in a:

  • broadcast performance (TV or radio) that lasts more than a week and the child performs on 6 days during that week (5 days for sound broadcasting)
  • sporting activity or modelling*

Apply for a licence or exemption

To apply for:

*If you have more than 10 children, you must complete and submit the form online.

We aim to process any performance or exemption licence applications within 28 working days on receipt of the form. We cannot guarantee this deadline, especially during busy periods (Easter, November and Christmas).

Chaperone licences

All children engaged in a public performance or entertainment under a performance licence issued by the LA must legally be supervised by a licensed chaperone or their parent.

Find out more about chaperone licences and apply.



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