Children in Entertainment
There is a duty on Local Authorities to ensure the health, welfare and kind treatment of children involved in the entertainment industry and also to issue licences permitting their participation in such activities and performances.
When does a child need a performance licence?
The law in relation to children in entertainment and performance licences applies to all children from birth until they reach compulsory school leaving age. In England, this is the last Friday in June of the school year when the child reaches the age of 16 and finishes Year 11 at school.
The application has to be made to the Local Authority where the child lives, not where the performance is taking place (unless the performance is covered by a BOPA).
Do all performances need to be licensed?
Licences are needed for performances where:
- the child is being paid
- they are taking place at a licensed premises or at a registered club
- the performance is to be broadcast or recorded by whatever means with a view to its use in a future broadcast or film intended for public exhibition.
- the child requires time off school to perform
What type of performances need to be licensed?
- a child is employed for modelling, photographic or catwalk
- a child is performing on stage or for television, film, commercials, radio, voiceovers etc.
- this includes dance and drama school shows, music hub/music service performances, festivals
- a child is taking part in paid/professional sport
Is a performance licence needed for school performances?
No. Schools do not need to apply for performance licences when holding a school play/concert etc. However, if the child is involved in commercial work outside of normal school activities a licence will be required, even if the performance is being held at their school.
Which legislation does the licensing requirement come from?
The Children and Young Persons Act 1963 (Section 37) Restriction on persons under 16 taking part in public performances.
This includes children who have attained age 16 during the academic year i.e. are still of compulsory school age.