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Children in Entertainment

Regulated under the Children Young Person Act 1933/63 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.


Children involved in entertainment, such as: TV, film, theatre, modelling, dance shows, pantos, amateur dramatics, music groups and paid sport (whether professional or amateur) may require a performance licence and a licenced chaperone. 


The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that the ‘work’ is not detrimental to the child’s welfare and education.  Child licences are all obtained through the Local Authority where the child resides.


When is a Child Performance licence is required


  • For all children from birth up to the end of their compulsory education. This is defined as the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16.
  • When a charge is made in connection with the performance. This applies whether the performers are paid or not.
  • When the performance takes place at licensed premises or a registered club.
  • When the performance is recorded to be broadcast or exhibited (for example on TV, radio, film, internet etc.)

What are the exceptions? 


Exemptions are set out in section 37(3) of the 1963 Act, which only apply where no payment in respect of the child taking part in the performance is made to the child or another person, other than expenses. These exemptions do not apply to paid sport or paid modelling. The exemptions are:


The 4 day rule


If a child has not performed on more than 3 days in the last 6 months, they will not need a licence for performance on a fourth day. Once a child has performed on 4 days in a 6 month period (in any performance, regardless of whether a licence was in place on any of those days or the child was taking part in a performance arranged under a body of persons approval) then a licence is required for any further performances (unless one of the other exemptions referred to below applies). 


If a child is to be absent from school this exemption cannot be relied upon: a licence will be required. 


Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) 


In some cases, the organiser of a performance involving children can apply for a BOPA.  A BOPA covers all children in one approval, rather than individual licences for each child.  The decision whether to issue a BOPA is at the discretion of the local authority.


Any organisation can apply for a BOPA, as long as no child is paid.  The local authority will require assurance that the body had clear, robust and well embedded policies for safeguarding children. Applications for a BOPA should be made to the local authority where the performance is taking place, the local authority can grant the approval even if the children taking part do not live within its' boundaries.   If granted, a BOPA removes the need to apply for an individual licence for each child, it is granted to the organisation that is responsible for the performance.  The authority can impose conditions that they feel are needed to ensure the well-being of the children involved and may revoke approvals if these are not met.


If a child is to be absent from school this exemption cannot be relied upon: a licence will be required. 


Performances organised by a School 


This does not include dance or drama schools, who must apply for licences, where necessary.  


Licence applications and regulations


It is a legal requirement to seek a licence when one is required and any person who causes or procures any child to do anything in contravention of the licensing legislation can be prosecuted whether a child is performing under licence or not, the same duty of care applies. 


Apply for a licence or Exemption: 


Exemption application form (50kb DOC)​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

Standard Child Performance Application Form (77kb DOC)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​​

Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) Application and Contract of Agreement (40kb DOC)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​​


Regulations and Guidance Documents:


Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015 (538kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

Keeping young performers safe (469kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​​


Information can also be found on the following website:


The National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window   


For further information please contact the Education Safeguarding Officer



Education Safeguarding Officer
Safeguarding and Review Team 
Room 342 County Hall 
Cardiff 
CF10 4UW


029 2233 0876