Child performance licensing

Working in the entertainment industry can be a rewarding and valuable experience for children.

However, it's illegal for any child of statutory school age or younger to work in entertainment without a performance licence or authorisation from their local council. This is because legislation exists to ensure that children are not exploited, are employed safely and that their education and health does not suffer. 

Child performance licence: how do I apply

The person responsible for the proposed production, not the parent, applies for the licence on behalf of the child through Barnet.  Applicants do this by completing the Child Performance Licence application form and submitting to the e-mail below along with the required supporting documentation (documents listed below). The parent or legal guardian of the child is required to complete Part 2 of the application form. 
A completed application consists of the following:

  • A completed application form with both Part 1 (Applicant) and Part 2 (Parent) completed.
  • 2 identical passport sized photos of the child taken during the six months preceding the date of the application (one will suffice if being scanned)
  • a copy of the birth certificate of the child or other satisfactory evidence of the child's age (such as a copy of the child’s passport)
  • a copy of the contract / draft contract or other documents containing particulars of the agreement regulating the child's appearance in the performances
  • a school permission letter (if absence from school required)

It's the responsibility of the applicant and parent to ensure all documentation is submitted correctly and within the time scales. If you have any further queries relating to the application process, please contact us.

How long do applications take to process?

We have the legal right to request twenty-one days' notice in order to process applications.  However, Barnet follows the London Child Employment Network Protocol requesting at least seven days' notice; this arrangement seeks to respond to the changing needs of the entertainment industry since the original legislation was enacted, while retaining enough time to ensure safeguarding obligations are met.

If the completed application is received in time and there are no issues with the application in relation to the law and regulations, the licence will be issued.

Where to send applications

Applications should be sent to or

For further information, please contact the Education Welfare Team – Child Licensing direct line on 0208 359 5290 or the general office number 0208 359 7684.

The Education Welfare Team is responsible for issuing Performance Licences for children working in the entertainment industry. Barnet Council licenses many young people to work in films, television and theatre productions every day. Local council ensures that legislation and guidance is adhered to through the Performance Licensing system.

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