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Do you need a child performance licence?

All children (from birth to the end of the school year in which they turn 16 years old) need a licence to take part in a public performance or activity if any of the following are true:

  • They’re going to be absent from school (the absence must also be authorised by the child’s Head Teacher)
  • An audience is paying to watch the performance (unless this is only to cover costs connected with the performance)
  • The child is being paid for the performance (or someone else is being paid for the child’s performance)
  • The child will perform on more than four days in any six month period
  • The child is participating in paid sporting activities
  • The child is participating in modelling work, including photography sessions, fashion shows or catwalk shows.

If the performance runs for four days or less, you may be able to apply for an exemption. If multiple children are involved in the performance, and they will not need absence from school, organisations may be able to apply for a Body of Person (BOPA) certificate if they meet the BOPA criteria.

The person responsible for the production is responsible for submitting the performance licence application.

Which council to apply to

You should apply to Birmingham city council for a licence if the child lives in Birmingham, is at a boarding school in Birmingham, or if the child lives outside the UK but your business or organisation is based in Birmingham.

  • If the child lives outside of Birmingham you should apply to the local authority where the child’s parents pay council tax
  • If the child lives outside of the UK and your business or organisation is not in Birmingham, please apply to the local authority where you are based
  • You can check which is your local authority if you're unsure
  • Apply for a child performance licence