Children involved in entertainment such as TV, film, theatre, modelling, dance shows, pantos, amateur dramatics, music groups and paid sports, whether professional or amateur, may require a performance license and a licensed chaperone.
This is to ensure that the “work” does not jeopardise the child’s welfare and education. This is regulated under the Children and Young Person Act 1933/63 and the Children (Performance and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
The legislation governing children in entertainment covers children from birth to statutory school leaving age (the last Friday in June of the school year in which a child reaches 16 years of age). Child performance licenses can be obtained through the Local Authority where the child resides.
A Child Performance license 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.)
The Four day rule
Any child who has not performed on more than three days in the past six months does not need a licence for one more day’s performance. Once a child has performed on four days or more in a six month period, then a licence is required (unless another exemption applies). This includes any performance, paid or otherwise, whether or not the child had a licence for any of those days or was covered by a Body of Persons Approval (see below).
If the child needs to be absent from school to take part in the performance then this exemption cannot be relied upon and 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 organiser can apply for a BOPA for a specific performance or for a limited period of time to put on performances involving children. The decision whether to issue a BOPA is at the discretion of the local authority.
As long as no child is paid any organisation can apply for a BOPA. The organisation will need to show the local authority assurance that the body has clear, robust and well embedded policies for safeguarding children during rehearsals and performances. 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. 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.
Performance organised by a School
This does not include dance or drama schools, who must apply for licenses, where necessary.
If a Child Performance Licence is not required we still request that the organiser of the performance/show register all children taking part. This allows us to keep a register of all Ceredigion children taking part in a performance. Even if a licence is not required most of the rules and regulations still apply.
Apply for a license or exemption:
If you need to speak to someone regarding Child Performance Licensing, please contact Schools Services on 01545 570881.
Further information can also be found on the National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment website.