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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.

When is a licence needed?

  • 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 is a licence not needed?

  • 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 proceeding 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.

Please note written confirmation will be required from the Licensing Authority. Please contact the Child Employment Team to request an Exemption Request Form.


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 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 Licence / Exemption application 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 or in the case of an Application for an Open Licence the number of days over a period not exceeding 6 months. The above can apply to an individual child, or a group of children for whom a block licence application is made.

How do rehearsals affect licences?

Rehearsals do not count towards the total number of days permitted but if absence is required from school this would need to be authorised by the Head Teacher.

What must accompany the licence application?

  • Two identical passport photos of the child
  • Copy of the child's birth certificate
  • 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 must the licence show?

  • The child's name (plus stage name if appropriate);
  • Name of the Applicant
  • Name/Nature of performance;
  • Place of performance;
  • Date(s) of performance(s)
  • Time(s) of performance(s)

Do you always need a registered Chaperone?

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

Download the application form below for a licence.

More information can be obtained from the Child Employment Team:

email: Child Employment Team Tel: 0121 303 8900

If you need to see a member of the team please note 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.

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.