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Children in Entertainment

This page is known as: www.birmingham.gov.uk/child-entertainment


Performances by children are governed by The Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963, and The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

These notes give general information only about the age of children in performance, licensing regulations and performance restrictions:

To guarantee the processing of your application in time for your performance all applications must be returned at least 21 days before the start of the performance/activity or rehearsal if absence is required from school.


Who needs to be licensed?

All children from birth to the end of the school year in which they reach their 16th birthday, who take part in public performances


When is a Licence Required?


  • When there is absence from school. Absence from school will require authorisation from the Head Teacher to enable any pupil to take part in a performance in accordance with a licence. Attendance at rehearsals or auditions that require absence from school can only take place within the currency of a licence.
  • When money changes hands from an audience, or in payment to the child or another person
  • When a child works more than 4 days in any 6 month period
  • When a child is employed in sporting activities and/or modelling work. Modelling work applies to such activities as still photography sessions, fashion shows / catwalk work

When Can I Apply For an Exemption?


  • When no payment is being made to the child or another person other than defraying expenses
  • When there is no absence from school; and
  • in the 6 months preceding the performance the child has not taken part in other performances/activities on more than 3 days; or
  • the performance is given under the arrangements made by a school or made by a 'Body of Persons' approved by the Secretary of State or the Local Authority in whose area the performance takes place.

Who is the Licensing Authority?

Normally the Local Authority where the child lives. If the child lives outside Great Britain it is the Local Authority where the Licence Applicant lives or has business premises. If the child is at a boarding school it is the Local Authority where the school is.


Who applies for the Licence / Exemption?

The person responsible for the production in which the child will take part. Where "person" is a Corporate Body, the Licence / Exemption application is to be signed by the individual responsible for that part of the business. An Application Form for a licence or an Exemption Request Form is available below.


When must the Licence / Exemption application be made?

Twenty one days before the first date of performance or before the first day of absence for a rehearsal.


Who is the Licence / Exemption Holder?

The person who signs the Application/Request Form. The Licence / Exemption Holder have responsibility for observing the restrictions of the Licence / Exemption.


What information has to be given about the number of days for which a licence is requested?

Actual dates of the performance and dates of the rehearsal if absence from school is required. Where dates are not known, then the number of days and the period during which the performance or activity will take place.


How do rehearsals affect licences?

Rehearsals taking place from the first to the last day of the performance period will require a licence and count towards the total number of days permitted. If absence is required from school for a rehearsal this will need to be authorised by the Head Teacher.


What must accompany a Licence Application?


  • Two identical passport size photos of the child
  • Copy of the child's birth certificate
  • Copy of the Risk Assessment pertaining to the part being undertaken by the child (if applicable)
  • A copy of the contract, draft contract or other documents containing particulars of the agreement regulating the child’s appearance in the performance or regulating the activity for which the licence is requested

What will the Licence show?


  • The child's name (plus stage name if appropriate);
  • Name of the Applicant
  • Name/Nature of performance
  • Place of performance
  • Date of performance
  • Time of performance
  • Dates of any absences required from school
  • Name of Chaperone

Do you always need a registered Chaperone?

Yes. This is someone approved by the Licensing Authority to be in charge of the children throughout the period covered by the licence. Where the performance qualifies for a standard Exemption the applicant can appoint an appropriate supervising adult to take on this role.


If you are interested in becoming a Registered Chaperone, please go to www.birmingham.gov.uk/chaperones where you will also be able to download a Chaperone Application Form


What is meant by Regulated Entertainment

Where performances take place in the presence of an audience for the entertainment of that audience with a view to profit, this is defined as “Regulated Entertainment” under the Licensing Act 2003. The Act states that persons and / or premises that conduct regulated entertainment will be required to obtain the relevant permission from the Council. You can find further information by viewing the Licensing Alcohol and Entertainment page.


More information relating to the child performance regulations can be obtained from the Child Employment Team.

Email: childemployment@birmingham.gov.uk
Tel: 0121 303 8900


Office Visits: Please note if you need to see a member of the team, a prior appointment is necessary.


More information can be obtained from the Child Employment Team:

email: childemployment@birmingham.gov.uk

Tel: 0121 303 8900

If you need to see a member of the team a prior appointment is necessary.

Licensing Entertainment

If you wish to provide performances which take place in the presence of an audience for the entertainment of that audience with a view to profit, this is defined as “Regulated Entertainment” under the Licensing Act 2003. The Act states that persons and / or premises that conduct regulated entertainment will be required to obtain the relevant permission from the Council. You can find further information by viewing the Licensing Alcohol and Entertainment page.