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Child performance licence

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Child Performance Licence

All Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility for issuing, Child Performance Licences, Body of Person's Approval, Exemption Licences. Child Work Permits, and Chaperone Licences.

We require 10 clear working days notice before the date of the first performance, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

Children working in entertainment must be licensed by the council where they live. This includes infants and any young person of legal school age.

Entertainment includes:

  • performing on stage, television or films
  • modelling
  • taking part in a sporting activity

A licence is needed if:

  • it is paid work
  • the child is required to be absent from school in order to appear
  • the child will be working for over 4 days
  • the child has performed, licensed or unlicensed, within the previous 6 months
  • the performance is taking place on licensed premises

There are strict guidelines on the number of hours and days a child may perform, which vary according to their age and the nature of the work proposed.


Before you apply

You should apply as early as possible and at least 10 days before you need the licence. This does not include weekends or bank holidays.

You will need to provide a:

  • clear photo of the child’s face taken within the past 6 months
  • scanned copy of the child's birth certificate or passport, do not send originals in the post
  • health declaration that the child is fit and healthy enough to undertake the assignment, signed and dated by parent or legal carer

Make sure your application includes the:

  • location for the performance, including full address with postcode
  • role the child will perform and any information about the role
  • dates when the child will perform
  • start and end time of the production
  • School permission email/letter.  If the child attends school.

Children can only be chaperoned by their own parent, legal carer or a licensed chaperone. If the child's parent or carer is acting as chaperone, you must include their name.

How to apply

Complete the Child performance licence application form (PDF) - the child’s parent or carer will need to complete part two of the form.

Please note we will not be accepting any applications without all the evidence required, and we kindly ask you not to submit any applications unless you have all of the relevant documents and information. We will reject any applications that are incomplete, including those without school authorisations where required.

Email your application and scanned documents:

If you need any help and advice about your application or licence, email:

What happens next

We aim to issue a licence within 10 working days of receiving an application. If information is incomplete or we need to check further information it can take longer.

Who can apply for a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

The organisation responsible for putting on the performance, and for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children taking part, may apply for a BOPA.  Please note that a BOPA needs 21 days notice to complete.

You would need to complete the following forms:


BOPA Group Participant Information PDF

BOPA Contract of Agreement PDF

Email your forms to:

Record retention

We will keep applications for child entertainment and child employment permits for a period of 12 months after the date of expiry which is the last day of performance or employment.

After that date we will delete the application and any supporting documents.

Should there be any safeguarding concerns copies of the application and supporting documents will be moved to the safeguarding file for the pupils and kept in accordance with the standard retention periods.


If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child on a production: 

Child Work Permit

We need to know about all children who are of school age and are employed. The work must be suitable and must not affect the child's health or education.

Employment is any type of paid or voluntary work carried out for any person, organisation or business that can be deemed to be the employer of the child.

Camden Employment leaflets:

When referring to our leaflets please note the Education Welfare Service is now known as the Pupil Attendance Service, all other information in the leaflets are correct.

More information from central government on child employment

Applying for a work permit

Employers who employ children aged 13 to 16 need to apply for an employment permit from the council where the business is based.

An employer's Employment Permit Application Form must be completed before the child starts work. A risk assessment must also be completed as part of the application. 

You will also need to attach

  • a photo, headshot only
  • a copy of the Birth Certificate
  • a copy of their passport if the child has one

Applications need to be sent within 1 week of employment starting.

Report any concerns 

If you have a concern about a child taking part in a performance or employment, please contact us at: or telephone 0207 974 7152

Give us the following information 

  • name of production or employer
  • date of production
  • address of production or employer  
  • details of concern 
  • your optional contact details and if you wish them to remain confidential 

Camden will pass on the information to the appropriate borough if the production or employer is not within our area or investigate and take appropriate action. 

If you think the child is in immediate danger please contact the police on 999