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Child performance licences

You will need a licence if you want a child to perform on stage, in television, film or commercials or to work in professional sport or as a model. This applies to children from birth to compulsory school leaving age.

How to apply
Performances that do not need a licence
Body of Persons Approval
Advice for parents

How to apply

The person responsible for the performance and the parent should both complete and sign an application form:

You will also need to provide:

  • proof of the child's date of birth
  • two photographs of the child taken within the last 6 months
  • a copy of the contract (if issued)
  • a letter giving permission for absence from school (if applicable) 

Email completed forms and accompanying information to:

A licence will not be granted unless the council is satisfied that the child is fit to take part in a performance, that their education will not suffer and that proper supervision has been made to secure their health, comfort and kind treatment.

Performances that do not need a licence

In certain circumstances an exemption from the licensing process may be possible. Where a child has not performed on more than four days including this performance in the last 6 months and is not being paid (providing there is no absence from school) the performance may be exempt.

Under these circumstance you should notify Lancashire County Council. The person responsible for the production should complete the following form and email it at least 28 days before the performance takes place to

Body of Persons Approval

In certain circumstances Lancashire County Council may consider issuing a Body of Persons Approval to an organisation for performances involving children. This type of exemption may be appropriate providing no payment is being made to the child (or to anyone else), the child will not be absent from school to take part and the performance is taking place within Lancashire County Council boundaries.

An approval will only be granted providing the above criteria are met and the council is satisfied the organisation has clear, robust and well embodied policies for safeguarding children. At least 21 days' notice of Applications for Body of Persons Approval is required.

Advice for parents

As a parent, you will receive a copy of the licence. The licence is a legal document and any conditions that have been applied must be adhered to. When you receive your copy please read it carefully.

For photographic modelling, a licence will be issued for a single shoot on a specified date at a named location. You will need to contact your child's school to request absence in advance of each modelling engagement.

Photographic modelling is different from catwalk modelling which needs a performance licence.

For TV programmes, commercials, films, sound recordings or theatre productions the licence is issued for the part the child is playing.

If the part is as a TV extra with a long running TV drama series the licence will be issued for a six month period. It will be a condition of this type of performance licence that the licence holder provides written advance notice to the council of any filming engagements your child has during this period.

The licence will state what days if any your child has permission to be absent from school. A licence issued for TV extra work will state how many days absence the head teacher may be willing to grant for filming work. You will need to contact the school to request absence in advance of each filming engagement.

A child must be chaperoned by their own parent or by a chaperone approved by a local authority.


If you have any questions contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Team:


Lancaster, Morecambe, Wyre, Fylde and Preston
Tel: 01772 531 799

Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire
Tel: 01257 517 344

Hynburn, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, Burnley and Pendle
Tel: 01282 470 616