Children in entertainment

Who needs a performance licence?

All children, from birth to statutory school leaving age (currently 16), involved in any kind of public performance need a performance licence.

There are exceptions.

Exemption letters

We can issue an exemption letter instead of a licence if

  • the performance is not broadcast
  • the child is not paid for their performance
  • the child does not miss any school
  • the child does not perform for more than four days within a six-month period.

To apply for a letter of exemption, download the Exemption Application Form (MS Word 105 KB) or the PDF exemption application form (PDF 133KB).

School plays and similar performances

Performance licences and exemption letters are not required for events like school plays.

Please read the Guidance Notes (PDF 212KB) if you're unsure whether a performance licence or exemption letter is required.

You can also contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Officer (see below) with any further questions.

How to apply for a licence

It is the Producer's responsibility to apply for the licence (As part of the application process, the Producer needs to give a form to the parent/guardian to complete).

  • Current legislation requires that the licence or exemption must be applied for at least 21 working days before any performance (including rehearsals).
  • Applications must be signed by the applicant (Producer).
  • All names and contact details must be clearly written. Please state the exact date and location(s) of the performance(s).

Please supply a contact email address on the application.

Application Forms and Templates

All applicants should read the Guidance Notes (PDF 212 KB).

Application Form

Please download and complete the Standard Child Performance Licence Application Form (MS Word 57KB) or the PDF Standard Child Performance Licence application form (PDF 357KB). Applications via email are encouraged. Part 1 is completed by the Producer, and Part 2 is completed by the parent or guardian. If a Producer is applying for several children, and there are no differences in dates, locations etc, Producers don't need to complete a separate Part 1 for every child.


One photograph is required. This should be head and shoulders format, against a plain background. We are happy to have photos emailed to us as jpeg files.

Black-and-white photos, photocopies, or pictures that have been stapled will not be accepted.

Photos must be recent (taken in the last six months).

School letters

If absence from school is required, we must see proof of authorisation from the school. This could be an email sent to us directly from the school, or a letter from the school written on their official headed paper.

Contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Officer

For more information please contact:

CIEE Officer
Brighton & Hove City Council
Access to Education
First Floor
Hove Town Hall
Norton Road

Telephone: 01273 291378