North East Lincolnshire Council

Child entertainment licence

Child entertainment licence regulations

The Children and Young Persons Act 1963 – Section 37 and the Children’s (Performances) Regulation 1968 regulate public performances by children. The strict laws that govern the employment of young people also apply to those involved in performances, filming, paid modelling work and sporting activities.

A child remains subject to these regulations until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they turn 16. The academic year runs from 1 September to 31 August inclusive.

When do you need a child entertainment licence?

A licence must be obtained for a child under compulsory school leaving age taking part in a performance:

  • where a charge is made, whether for admission or otherwise
  • on premises licensed to sell alcohol, for example in a hotel, a pub or theatre
  • where there is absence from school
  • recorded with a view to its use in a broadcast, or film intended for public exhibition, for example a live stage performance recorded for a cinema screening, a feature film, a video or sound recording of a performance on a website
  • employed in paid modelling, photographic or catwalk work
  • working in paid/professional sport
  • in entertainment performing on stage or in television in activities such as films or commercials

Any child used as a stand in (understudy) should be licensed in the same way as the other children in the performance.

When is a licence not needed?

A child does not require a performance licence:

  • Performances put on by a school –  only applies to schools which provides statutory education (primary or secondary); this exemption would nottherefore apply to dance, music or drama schools)
  • Child is being filmed for an observational documentary – child is on TV as part of news item; filmed carrying out day to day routine – as long as not directed to act any differently of what he/she would act in real life
  • Competitions

Where a child performance licence is not required the organiser of the performance/show is still required to register all children taking part with North East Lincolnshire Council.

The checks associated with issuing Entertainment Licences are undertaken by the Education Welfare Service. Consideration is given to a young person’s school attendance and the impact the performance may have on their education and if alternative educational arrangements are appropriate.

Child entertainment licence application

You can download an application form and submit it which should be returned, with the required information to the Education Welfare Service. Please note you will be required to provide the following with the application:

  • One recent passport-sized photographs.
  • A copy of the contract or documents detailing the particulars regulating the child’s performance.
  • A medical certificate or statement stating the child is medically fit (as appropriate).
  • Letter or authorisation from the school that the child permitted absence to take part in performances and rehearsals (if applicable)

Please note current legislation for child performance licence applications requires 21 days’ notice;

Consideration will be made to complete within 10 days’ notice if the following documents are received:

  • A fully completed application which includes Part 1, Part 2, Declaration, Chaperone Information, birth certificate, parental declaration of fitness, school letter and photo).
  • The applicants full contact details must be provided to include address, telephone number and e-mail address.

The local authority will not take responsibility for chasing up any missing information, therefore any incomplete or late applications could be refused.    

Education Welfare Service, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, DN35 8LN


Telephone: 01472 326291 (option 1)

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 5 pm and Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm except bank holidays