Child performance and stage licences | Oxfordshire County Council

Child performance and stage licences

Information about child performance licensing.

Any child taking part in performances such as broadcast performances, child photography and modelling must have a licence issued by Oxfordshire County Council.

The laws which demand this licensing are the Children and Young Persons Acts (1933 and 1963) and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014

Statutory Guidance

Please note all licence applications require submission 21 days prior to the performance to comply with statutory guidance.  Applications received after 21 days cannot be guaranteed to be issued. 

Key issues covered by the regulations

  • is the child/young person below minimum school leaving age?
  • do they live in Oxfordshire?
  • is there a charge made for admission to the performance?
  • is it within licensed premises?
  • is it broadcast on TV?
  • is it intended for filming?
  • is the child/young person fit to take part?
  • consultation with headteacher if in school time
  • is the activity safe?

Will my child need a licence?

Paid/unpaid work Type of work Absence from school? Length of performance Licence required?
Paid TV or filming Yes Any period of time Yes
Paid TV or filming No Any period of time Yes
Paid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling Yes Any period of time Yes
Paid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling No Any period of time Yes
Unpaid TV or filming Yes Any period of time Yes
Unpaid TV or filming No Any period of time up to and including four days (and not performed within the previous six months) No
Unpaid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling Yes Any period of time up to and including four days (and not performed within the previous six months) Yes
Unpaid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling No Any period of time up to and including four days (and not performed within the previous six months) No
Unpaid TV or filming Yes Five days or more Yes
Unpaid TV or filming No Five days or more Yes
Unpaid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling Yes Five days or more Yes
Unpaid Theatre, sporting activity or modelling No Five days or more Yes

When a licence is required, a child shall not take part in a performance or activity except under the authority of a licence. Backdated licences should not be issued; they undermine the licensing process which is, after all, a safeguard for children.

Explanation of terms

Paid performance

Payment to the child for taking part in the performance, whether to the child or to any other person.

Unpaid performance

No payment is made to the child or any other person except for expenses.

Absence from school

Leave of absence may not be given to enable a pupil to undertake employment except in accordance with the licence. Absence from school will not be authorised for an unlicensed performance.

No licence is required when:

  • no payment is made to the child and they have not taken part in performances in the previous six months on more than three days
  • no payment is made to the child and the performance is arranged by a school
  • no payment is made to the child and the performance is exempted by the secretary of state e.g. Scout gang shows.

How do I get a licence?

To apply for a licence please complete the application for a Child Performance Licence (docx format, 115KB) or contact the County Attendance Team.

  • allow 21 days to receive your licence
  • send a photograph with your application and make sure it is signed by the parents or guardians
  • licences must be applied for per child, per production.

We must be satisfied that arrangements for the supervision and protection of the child are adequate and that the disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum.

Medical certificates

A medical declaration to prove that a child is fit to take part in the performance/activity may be requested by the Local Authority. Any costs incurred with obtaining medical certificates are generally accepted as being met by the body responsible for the production.

Related documents

Last reviewed
05 April 2017
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