Child entertainment

We make sure that the children who are in entertainment and take part in broadcast performances, photography or modelling are safeguarded in respect of their health, development and education.

Any child of compulsory school age working in this way must have a licence.

We usually get licence applications from a modelling or casting agent, or a theatre or television director/producer. Parents will need to fill in part of the application but are not responsible for making the application.

What is a performance?

The term performance includes work in television, film, voice overs, theatre, certain sporting activities, modelling and photographic work.

There are also differences in the number of days and hours which children of different ages may perform and the type of performance they may take part in.

What is compulsory school age?

A child is classed as anyone from birth until the end of his or her last year of compulsory education. A child's compulsory schooling finishes on the last Friday in June of the school year in which they have their 16th birthday, not on their 16th birthday.

Does the child reside in Wigan?

Licences are issued for children and young people who live in the borough of Wigan regardless of where the performance or activity is taking place.

Is a licence exemption possible?

You may not have to apply for a licence if:

  • No payment is to be made to the child or anyone else and they have not taken part in performances in the previous 6 months on more than three days
  • No payment to the child or anyone else and the performance or activity is given under arrangements made by school or the performance is exempted by the Secretary of State e.g. Scout gang shows
  • The performance is made by a Body of Persons (group licence) in the case of amateur dramatic societies and small dance schools.

Is the child medically fit to take part?

A parent or guardian will need to sign a declaration on the application form to confirm the child is medically fit to take part in the performance or activity.

Will the child require absence from school?

We will not grant a licence unless we are satisfied that the child’s education will not suffer by reason of taking part in the performances.

Parents must speak to the Head Teacher of the child’s school if any time off school is required, though they are not obliged to authorise absences for a pupil to take part in a performance or activity. Written permission for any absence must be authorised by the Head Teacher and submitted with the licence application.

We may specify that tutoring arrangements are made as a condition of the licence being granted.

Is it a safe and appropriate activity/performance?

We may request further information about an activity or performance in order to check that it is safe and appropriate for the child/children taking part before granting the licence.

Who is responsible for looking after a child when performing?

Children working in entertainment must be accompanied by one of either their parents or an authorised chaperone at all times.

Before the licence is issued, we must be satisfied that arrangements for the supervision and protection of the child are adequate, and that the disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum.

Completing the application form

The Standard Child Performance and Activities Licence Application Form (England) consists of:

  • Part 1 - Completed by the applicant
  • Part 2 - Completed by the parent or guardian.

This application form must be accompanied by:

  • 2 passport style photos of the child
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate or passport
  • Permission to be absent from school (if applicable)

We ask for at least 21 days’ notice of a performance in order to make appropriate enquiries and process the application.

How do I submit my form and supporting documents?

  • Email
  • Alternatively you can post them to: Child Licensing (Attendance Service), Education - Children and Families, Wigan Council, PO Box 100, Wigan, WN1 3DS.

Legislation and guidance

© Wigan Council