Child performance

Bedford Borough Council is responsible for licensing children who take part in TV/theatre/radio, modelling and paid sporting activities in accordance with 'The Children and Young Person's Act 1933 and 1963' and The Children (Performances and Activities)(England) Regulations 2014. 

The legislation requires all children, from birth until compulsory school age, to be licensed by the Local Authority. (Children reaching 16 years of age between 1 September and 31 August remain of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June).

The legislation states that the local authority may require 21 days’ notice of a licensed performance. The Applicant being: "the person responsible for the production of the performance in which the child is to take part" (production/theatre Company) should ensure a fully completed application has been submitted to the Local Authority.

It should be noted that chasing up of incomplete or missing paperwork is the responsibility of the Applicant/Agent and needs to be completed within the deadlines described above. Applications received with less than the due notice may not be processed.

Child performance licence applications

Online applications must be completed in full - we do not accept applications by email. The first part needs to be completed by the applicant/agent and the second part will need to be completed by the parent then will be returned to the applicant to sign off.

The following documents are required for each child who resides in Bedford Borough:

  • Part 1 and Part 2 will need to be completed in full
  • Safeguarding/CP Policy
  • Risk Assessment (this should relate to the child who is performing)
  • Chaperone Information (full name and LA they are registered at)
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • School letter giving permission to be absent if required
  • A digital photograph (head and shoulders only)

Apply online for child performance licence

A licence may not necessary if:

  • Children are performing in a school production are (ie child's main educational establishment).
  • A licence is not necessary if the 4 day rule exemption is applied – please email the LA if using this rule as the LA requires details of the performance and children involved at least 21 days prior to the performance. (If an applicant/producer is relying on the four-day rule as a basis for not applying for a licence, they should have reasonable grounds for believing the child has not performed on more than 3 days in the previous 6 months).
  • Licences for a child working abroad should be applied for from a local magistrate court.

Restrictions on performance

You can find further information relating to child performance regulations from the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (PDF).


Bedford Borough Council has the legal right to inspect the arrangements made for the child at the place of performance.


Bedford Borough Council has the right to refuse or withdraw a licence.

If you can't find the answer to a question you may have on this page, please email