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Fact sheets and legal compliance info
LC11. Children and Young Person’s Act (1933) and (1963)
Date Posted: 05 August 2016
These Acts were originally introduced to stop the exploitation of children and young people, particularly those involved in the entertainment industry.

These Acts were originally introduced to stop the exploitation of children and young people, particularly those involved in the entertainment industry. New Regulations relating to the Acts were introduced in 2014 and came in to effect on 6 February 2015. The Acts lay down rules for the amount of time a child or young person can be employed and the circumstances in which they may (and may not) miss time from their general schooling. It also places restrictions on the amount of time that anyone under the age of 16 can take place in public performances. As such it may affect the work of dance teachers working with any group of children or young people who are taking part in youth dance activities, festivals, rehearsals or performances.

The Regulations (know as the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014), provide guidance about the circumstances in which a licence is required for anyone under the age of 16 who is living or working in Great Britain and who wants to take part in performances or ‘activities’ (eg sporting activities, rehearsals etc). New guidance has been included in the Regulations that covers all internet streaming, live broadcasting and any filming which will result in live screening (ie videoing a live theatre performance which my subsequently be screened to the public). Licences are granted (or can be refused) by each local authority in England. Each local authority is required to provide guidelines relating to the Act, consequently rules relating to the Act and to the application for licences vary between local authorities. Search your local authority website for information about Child Performers Licences.

Generally a licence is not required if:

  • The child, young person or adult representing them does not receive payment (other than expenses) 
  • The child or young person is not going to be absent from school 
  • The child or young person has not taken part in a performance on more than three days in the six months preceding the application for the licence. 
  • The performance is being organised by an agency or person approved by the local authority. 

However you should check with your local authority if you are in any doubt about whether a licence may be required.

It should be noted that:

  • a performance licence may be required whether or not the child is paid; 
  • amateur groups, musical performances, student productions or films are not exempt from the requirements 
  • rehearsals are subject to the same restrictions and conditions as performances. 
The local authority issuing the licence must put in place measures to ensure that a child or young person’s health, welfare and education do not suffer as a result of them taking part in a performance or activity. If it has concerns the local authority has the right to require the child or young person to undertake a medical examination, obtain reports for the school or head-teacher and / or interview the child, parent or prospective private tutor.

It is usually the responsibility of the person arranging the production of the performance or engaging the child / young person who is responsible for applying for the licence. Most local authorities require that applications for a licence are made a minimum of 21 days before the licence is required, and sometimes considerably longer.

Legislation:

Regulations:

Chaperones

A child or young person requiring a performance licence will require a chaperone who is approved by the local authority. Chaperones act in 'loco parentis' and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child. A parent may act as an official chaperone to their own child but not to other children unless they have been approved by the local authority. A chaperone must remain with the child at all times, staying at the place of performance for the duration of the time that the child or young person is there is there.  This includes accompanying them to the toilet, and waiting outside, accompanying them to the wings for theatre jobs and to and from set for filming jobs. Most local authorities provide guidance for chaperones.

Further information about becoming a licensed Chaperone can be obtain from your local authority or via this link: www.gov.uk/chaperone-child-performers