Performance and stage licences for school age children

Getting a licence

Time restrictions

Licences are conditional upon adherence to the restrictions on the number of hours a child may perform as set out in the Children and Young Persons Acts, 1933 and 1963 and the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968. These restrictions vary according to the age of the child and the nature of the performance.

Backdated licences

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 will not be issued, as they undermine the licensing process and the safeguarding that is its purpose.

Open licences

We do not issue open licences, only licences for specific assignments. All dates and locations of the performance must be specified and confirmed and we require five working days' notice of any changes.

Notice period

We require a minimum of 10 working days (i.e. not including weekend days or public holidays) from receiving the application and all additional documents required to the first date for which the licence will be required. We may be able to process it in less time if all the documents are enclosed.

This notice period exists to ensure safeguarding of the child and therefore will not be waived under any circumstances. Productions should be mindful that local authorities can insist upon 21 days' notice according to government legislation and that this notice period will be exercised where there is an exceptional volume of applications per assignment.

We will accept the form and documentation via email.  Please do not send documents via recorded post as this may guarantee delivery but it means no one else can pick up the document other than the name holder which may further delay the process.

Apply for a licence

Print off the form and return it by post or in person to education welfare service or email to

You can also contact the education welfare service and request that a copy of the form be sent to you by post or electronically.

Please also bear in mind that if the child's parent or legal carer is acting as chaperone, this must be stated on the form. Children may only be chaperoned by either their own parent/legal carer or a licensed chaperone.

The completed application form must be accompanied by:

  • a passport size photograph of the child, taken within the last six months or a scanned passport photograph if this is being emailed
  • a copy of the child's birth certificate or passport. Please do not send original documents.
  • a declaration by the child's GP or its parent/legal carer that the child is fit and healthy enough to undertake the assignment. It is crucial that this declaration states the date on which it was written, or it will be invalid.  Film or TV work needs a GP medical, sporting and modelling generally a parental declaration is sufficient.  For theatre where a child performs for more than 6 days and for more than a week a GP medical will be required.  There are some exceptions so it is important to check with the child employment officer if you are unsure. 
  • we will only accept a medical signed by a GP

More information

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