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Child employment and entertainment

There are byelaws about the hours that children in compulsory education can work and what they are allowed to do. Compulsory education for children ends on the last Friday in June of Year 11. 

Work permit application

The employer needs to apply for a permit for the employment of children from the local education authority in whose area the employment takes place.

You can obtain an application form from schools or download the form below.

The parent, headteacher and employer should complete and sign the form. Please return the form to the address stated on the form.

Please email all child work permit applications to

We only send a copy of the child work permit to the employer, not the parent / guardian of the child.

View further guidance about child employment on the GOV.UK website.

Child performance licences

Performance licences are required for children who are performing in theatre, television, film, sporting activities or modelling, from birth until compulsory school leaving age (June of Year 11).

A full performance licence is required if:

  • Time off school is required
  • There is any payment made except to cover the cost of expenses

Regardless of where the performance is taking place, the producer must apply to the local authority where the young person resides.

We require 21 days notice of all licence applications.

We may consider a shorter processing time of around 10 working days but we will only do this if all paperwork needed is in place on the date of application and a discussion has taken place with the CIEE Officer.

Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

If a performance is taking place on licenced premises or a charge will be made for the audience to view it, but the children involved will not be paid or need absence from school, we can issue a BOPA.

You should apply to the local authority where the performance takes place but the approval covers all children taking part regardless of where they reside.

The Body of Persons Approval application is available to download below. Please clearly read the terms of the approval including the need for licensed chaperones to supervise the children and for child protection policies to be in place.

You can find further information about performance legislation on the following websites:

National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE website).

Child performance and activities: licensing legislation (

Size: 244KBFile format: pdf

Chaperone licence

If a parent or carer does not accompany a child, the production company is required to supply a chaperone who is currently licensed by the council. The Child Chaperone Licence Application is available below.

A disclosure check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required.

There is an administration fee of £10 to process a volunteer chaperone licence. This includes training and guidance in relation to the role. We issue guidance by email and check your understanding during your application interview.

Please allow 12 weeks for the processing of your application.

We charge Professional Chaperones £65.

Data Protection

The information we gather from the above applications is needed in order to ensure we can safeguard children in performance. We store this information in electronic form only and on a secure database. We may need to share information about the applicants with other local authorities if, for example, the performance is taking place in a different area.

If we send documents containing applicants details we do this using either secure email or with encrypted documents. We will keep your application documents and licence / approval for 1 year following the expiry / performance date. If you have any questions about why and how your data is held, please contact the CIEE Officer.

Contact us

Please send completed applications or queries to or call 01733 864210.