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Children in Entertainment

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 licensed chaperone to be present. 


The regulations applying to this are part of the Children Young Person Act 1933/63 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.

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


When is a Child Performance Licence is required?

  • A CPL 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.

  • A CPL is required when a charge is made in connection with the performance. This applies whether the performers are paid or not.

  • A CPL is required when the performance takes place at licensed premises or a registered club.

  • A CPL is required when the performance is recorded to be broadcast or exhibited (for example on TV, radio, film, internet etc.)


What are the exceptions? 

There are some exceptions which mean a CPL is not required. The exemptions are set out in section 37(3) of the 1963 Act and 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 four-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 Body of Persons Approval (BOPA).  A BOPA covers all children in one approval, rather than having to have individual licences for each child in the performance.  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, tickets are not sold and the event is not filmed for transmission.  The Vale of Glamorgan Council will require assurance that the body requesting the BOPA has 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 issuing 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 (BOPA) 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. 


Documents to apply for a licence or an exemption: 


Regulations and Guidance Documents:


The Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015 Keeping young performers safe



For further information contact Mr. G.Horler, Licensing and Data Officer Inclusion Department.



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