Certain criteria must be fulfilled for a show to be classed as a performance:
It is taking place on licensed premises.
Being broadcast, filmed or recorded for public exhibition
In connection with which a charge is made (even if no charge is made for admission).
A performance licence is a legal document which is issued by the Local Authority and states the specific arrangements for the child to take part in a performance.
Children employed in modelling work, e.g. photographic or catwalk.
Children working in paid/professional sport.
Children performing on stage or in television, film, commercial etc.
The licence applicant must be someone who is responsible for the production in which the child is taking part e.g. Producer, Director etc. A child’s agent or parent cannot apply for a licence.
For further information on how to apply for a licence see Applying for a Performance Licence
The licensing of children is intended to safeguard their education, health, and welfare. The Education Investigation Service is responsible for the issuing and supervision of licences on behalf of the Local Authority (LA). Application for licences must be made to Dudley MBC for all children resident in the borough aged 0–16 years (i.e. those who have not reached the official school leaving age) for performances/activities taking place in Dudley or elsewhere.
The legislation relating to the licensing of children for performances, paid modelling and sporting activities is contained in the Children and Young persons Acts 1933 and 1963 and The Children (Performances and Activities England) Regulations 2014.
A child must be licensed if they meet the following criteria:
If the child has performed for more than 4 days in the past 6 months.
Being paid to take part in the performance.
Requires absence from school to take part in the performance.
It is unlikely, as a school performance is exempt from the performance regulations. However if you are in doubt please contact your local Child Employment Officer.
The Local Authority has the overriding decision, however we do ask that permission from school has been granted and this should be obtained in writing.
The law requires that a performance licence application is submitted 21 days before the first performance; however we suggest that the local Child Employment Officer is contacted as soon as possible as it may be possible to issue the licence in less than 21 days.
Exemptions where a licence is not required – Regulation 37(3a)
If a child takes part in four or less performances in any six month period (provided there is no absence from school).
Performances put on by a Body of Persons (see document at bottom of page) approved by the Secretary of State (Home Office) or the Local Authority
Any activity that the Local Authority does not consider to be a performance.
Although a child may be exempt from requiring a licence if the exemption criteria is met, the regulations do require the licence holder to adhere to certain parts of the Regulations. Therefore, if a child performance license is not required we still request that the organiser of the performance/show notifies the Local Authority. An exemption from licensing application form is available on request at the address below or can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. The form should be sent so as to reach the licensing authority not less than twenty-one days before the first performance for which the exemption is requested.
For more information see Exemption Fact Sheet and Exemption from Licensing at the bottom of this page.
A child taking part in a performance for which they need a licence, this can include TV or filming, theatre, sporting activities or modelling, will require a Chaperone (matron) who is responsible for the welfare of young people taking part in entertainment. Parents may only chaperone their own children if they have not been approved by the local authority.
No charge is made by the Local Authority for the issuing of a performance licence.
For more information see Table of Hours at the bottom of this page.
The child may be performing illegally. If the child performs without a licence they may not be covered by the production company’s insurance and the production company is at risk of prosecution. It is an offence for any person who fails to observe any condition subject to which a licence is granted or knowingly or recklessly makes any false statement in or in connection with an application for a licence is liable to a fine not exceeding £1000 (level 3 on the standard scale) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both (section 40 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963).
A performance licence will still be required, but these are issued by your local Magistrates Court. For further information contact your local Magistrates Court.
Yes, but a performance licence may be required and you should contact your local Child Employment Officer.
Yes the legislation covers all children who perform until they complete compulsory schooling.
The issuing Local Authority should be notified if any amendments are made to the terms of the licence. The licence applicant is responsible for ensuring the Local Authority is notified.
The accident should be recorded and dealt with appropriately e.g. by the on site first aider.
The National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE) offers further guidance and information about children in entertainment.
If you have any concerns relating to children in entertainment please contact your local Child Employment Officer (see contact details below).
Child Employment Officer
Education Investigation Service
Council House, Priory Road
Dudley, DY1 1HF
Tel: 01384 814314