Children in entertainment and employment

Guidance about the rules which apply if your child is taking time off school to perform.

Performance licence requirements cover all children from birth to the end of compulsory school age. The production company is responsible for completing and submitting a licence application.

These performances include:

  • theatre, panto
  • films, TV
  • commercials, video, internet for commercial purposes
  • band/ choir/ dance show
  • modelling – all types; broadcast and non-broadcast
  • amateur drama productions
  • broadcast dance/ singing competitions

A licence is not required for children performing in a production produced by a school where the pupils normally attend.

Performance Licensing is regulated under the Children & Young Persons Act 1933/63 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

To apply for a licence, please download an application form and send it to the ACE team no later than 10 working days before the first date of performance.

Children in performances require nominated, duly licensed chaperone or their parents before a licence can be granted. For chaperone information, please see below.

Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

This may be granted to an organisation for the purposes of a performance or performances involving children for which the children may therefore not require to be licensed. Please check with us to see if your organisation or performance qualifies for a BOPA.

For BOPA application form, contract and template see section 6 of the ACE reference manual


All children who need a performance licence must be chaperoned by either the child’s parents/legal guardian or an approved adult (chaperone/matron).

Relatives (such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters etc) are not permitted to chaperone a child unless they hold a chaperone (matron) approval from the local authority area in which they, the adult, reside.

Applying for chaperone approval

We can only consider an approval to be a chaperone if:

  • you live within Hammersmith & Fulham
  • you are over the age of 18

To apply for a chaperone approval, please download the chaperone application form below, or contact the ACE Child Employment and Licensing officer on tel: 0208 753 1170.

Please note that a DBS and necessary reference checks will be undertaken before approval.

Chaperone application process

1. Complete the chaperone application and the DBS forms

2. Call us on 020 8753 1170 to arrange an appointment to submit your application, DBS forms and to pay for the DBS check. Please bring along for your DBS verification ID documents (birth certificate, passport, utility bills etc). You will also need to bring a passport sized photo.

3. Chaperone licences are valid for one year in the first instance for new approvals. For renewals, approvals are valid for three years unless revoked, and should be carried at all times when chaperoning children.

For further information on chaperone duties and chaperone forms please refer to the section 6 and 7 of the ACE reference manual.

Children in Employment (part-time work)

Children of compulsory school age, working before or after school, at weekends or during school holidays, must have an employment permit issued by the local authority.

Under the Children and Young Person Act 1933, a child:

  • must be 13 years or over before they get a part-time job
  • cannot work during school hours
  • can only work between 7am and 7pm
  • can only work for two hours on a Sunday
  • can only work for 12 hours per week in term time
  • must have a 1 hour break if they work four continuous hours
  • age 13-14 can only work for up to five hours per day and up to 25 hours a week in the holidays
  • age 15-16 can only work for up to eight hours per day and up to 35 hours a week in the holidays

Permit requirements

  • Employers are legally responsible for applying for permits for the children they employ. They must fill in the application form, ensure the parent/guardian signs it, and send it to ACE latest within seven days of the child starting work for the employer.
  • A work permit is normally issued by the authority where the employer is based.
  • Each permit is specific to the job and employer; therefore, if a child has more than one job, a permit is required for each.
  • A permit is not required once the child is no longer of compulsory school age i.e. from the last Friday of June in Year 11.
  • A permit is not required for work experience arranged by the school. If this leads to employment, a permit will be required. See section 6 (6.1a) of Ace reference manual

School children and part time work, see section 7 (7.1 and 7.2)

For all enquiries, please call 020 8753 1170 or email

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