Children in entertainment

Children under school leaving age who take part in entertainment and certain other activities need to be licensed. The licence is designed to protect the child's health, education and welfare. It also stops children from being exploited or overworked.

Licences are not usually required for a performance arranged by a school.

Children’s performances and activities are regulated by the following laws:

  • the Children and Young Person’s Act
  • the Children Performance Regulations
  • the Children Protection at Work Regulations 1998 (for sporting events)

Licences are issued by the Council and cover a child from birth until they reach the official school leaving date. The three types of licence and the areas they cover are listed below.

Performance Licence

Television or film

Children appearing in films or on television need a performance licence. This applies whether time off school is required or not.

Theatre, music or dance

Most children who take part in this type of performance will need a performance licence. Unless they are a member of an amateur society which has been given an exemption called a Body of Persons Licence. A performance licence is needed if a child requires time off school, is getting paid or if the production lasts for more than 4 days.

Activities Licence


Children can take part in modelling assignments from birth. They are usually registered with one or more modelling agencies. A child involved in modelling needs an activities licence.

Sports Licence

Sporting events


Where a child excels at their chosen sport and they are either paid or require time off school to participate, the child needs a Sports Licence.

Applying for a licence

To apply for any of the above three types of licence, download a licence application form.

The form has three parts:

  • part 1 is completed by the person responsible for the production/event or modelling agency
  • part 2 of the form is completed by the parent/guardian, who must also provide:
    • the child's Birth Certificate
    • two recent passport-sized photographs of the child
    • a completed health questionnaire or statement of fitness from the child’s GP

Body of persons licence

An amateur organisation may apply for a body of persons licence. This allows for multiple children to be licensed for an amateur production at the same time. This prevents the need for a full licence.

A Body of persons licence cannot be issued where performers are:

  • paid
  • require time off school
  • have already been involved with 4 days performance in the previous 6 months

To apply, please call us on 01924 307 451.

Download a body of persons exemption application form

Chaperones (also referred to as Matrons)

Chaperones are employed in either a paid or voluntary capacity to supervise licensed children. The Council must ensure that the chaperone is suitable and can exercise proper care or control of the children. They are responsible for the child's:

  • health
  • comfort
  • kind treatment
  • moral welfare

The law states that the chaperone is acting in place of the parent. They should exercise the care which might reasonably be expected from a good parent.

Children often work in an adult environment and the chaperone must consider the child’s:

  • age
  • experience
  • concentration
  • exposure to adult conversation and expectations

The chaperone must be aware of health and safety issues and have a basic understanding of emergency first aid.

Anyone applying to become a chaperone must complete an application form.

You must also provide references, be subject to a police (DBS) check and complete online safeguarding training.

For further information download the Wakefield chaperone code of conduct.

To apply, download the chaperone application form.

Contact Us

Education Welfare Service Second Floor, Block C Normanton Town Hall High Street Normanton WF6 2DZ

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