Apply for a child performance licence

When you need a licence

Professional performances

You must have a licence for a school-age child to take part in a professional performance. This includes:

  • theatre performances
  • film performances
  • broadcast (television, radio) performances
  • child photography
  • modelling.

School age is classed as up to the end of the academic year after the child turns 16.

Amateur performances

You must have a licence for a school-age child to take part in an amateur production if the child performs more than four times in a six-month period. This includes paid and unpaid performances.

When you don't need a licence

Amateur performances

You don't need a licence for an amateur performance where all of the following apply:

  • the child isn't being paid
  • the child isn't missing school
  • the child performs less than four times in a six-month period.

In this case, you need to get an exemption letter from the local authority confirming that the child doesn't need a licence.

Please note - You don't need a licence or an exemption letter if the organising party is a school or education provider.

How to apply

Please note that:

  • You need to apply for a licence at least 21 days before the performance.  In exceptional circumstances, we can issue licences more quickly - call 020 8921 8510 for information.
  • If the child is going to miss any school, you need to contact the school before applying and get them to provide a letter stating they're happy for the pupil to do the performance.
  • You may need to arrange for a tutor to accompany the child if they're going to miss a lot of school.

Download a child performance licence application

The form needs to be completed by the person responsible for the production or performance. There is also a section that needs to be completed by the parent.

Send the completed form together with the supporting documents to:

Attendance Advisory Service
First Floor
The Woolwich Centre
Wellington Street
SE18 6HQ

What happens next

The Council will assess the application and grant the licence if it's successful. This usually takes seven working days but can take up to 21 days.

Contact the Child Employment team

Attendance Advisory Service,
First floor, The Woolwich Centre,
35 Wellington Street,
London SE18 6HQ

020 8921 8510

020 8921 8514