Child performance licences

Any child under the school leaving age, which is at the end of year 11, must have an entertainment performance licence to appear in film, TV, theatre, singing, dancing or modelling productions or apply for an exemption.

These performances include:

  • Films meant for broadcast.
  • Internet or video commercials.
  • Performances on licensed premises or to a paying audience.
  • Dancing and singing competitions.
  • Amateur productions.
  • Any performance that requires time off school.
  • Any performance where a child is being paid including sporting events.

You can apply for an exemption if:

  • The child has been in no more than three performances in the last six months, won’t be taking take time off school and won’t be paid or filmed for broadcast.
  • The organiser of the production has Body of Person Approval (BOPA) from the local authority or Secretary of State for Education.

A child’s school can stop a licence being issued if they believe the performance will affect the child’s education, health or welfare.  

Apply for a licence

The production organiser must apply for a licence from the local authority where the child lives. We can only provide licences for children who live in Liverpool.

Email the completed form to childemployment&performance@liverpool.gov.uk at least 15 working days before the first performance.     

Please note: If the child is not accompanied by a parent while working in a performance, a local authority licensed chaperone must be named before a licence can be granted. Find out more about chaperones.   

Apply for an exemption 

Exemptions for individuals and groups

You may not need a licence if the child or children who wish to perform have been in no more than three other performances in the last six months, won’t be taking take time off school and won’t be paid or filmed for broadcast. 

This form should be completed by the organiser and returned to childemployment&performance@liverpool.gov.uk. It can be used to apply for an exemption for more than one child.

Body of Person Approval (BOPA)

Any organisation can apply for BOPA from us if a child is not paid to take part. Expenses can, however, be given.

The organisation must meet certain criteria and demonstrate they have clear, robust and embedded safeguarding policies, and arrangements in place to protect children. Please contact us to check if its appropriate for you to apply for a BOPA.

Please complete and return both the from and contract to childemployment&performance@liverpool.gov.uk.