The Child (Performances & Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015 have the aim of safeguarding children under the school leaving age who are working and/or performing in the entertainment industry, modelling or participating in some other activities. The need for a licence depends on what is being organised.
The main factors indicating a licence is required are:
- If there is a charge for admission or other reason
- If the performance is on premises licenced to sell alcohol (even if the bar is closed during the performance)
- If the performance is broadcast live (TV, radio or internet streaming)
- If the performance is recorded to be used in a broadcast or film that will be seen by the public
- Any activity where children take part in sports or modelling for which payment (not expenses) is made.
- Head Teacher approval must be gained for any absence from school
There are certain exemptions, but these only apply where no payment is made to, or in respect of, children performing, whoever takes the payment;
- Performance organised by a school (educational school, not a dance school or similar organisation)
- Child has performed for fewer than 4 days in the past 6 months - if absence from school is entailed, then written Head Teacher approval is required.
The rules governing children in entertainment cover children who take part in 'performances' and 'activities' including all broadcast and theatre performances, child photography and modelling.
In some cases an organiser can apply for a Body of Persons Approval (BoPA) which covers all of the children performing in one approval. This may be a good option for amateur groups and schools. Key requirements are that the child is not paid and the organisation has robust and effective systems in place to safeguard children during rehearsals and performance.
Body of Persons Approval application form (PDF, 238KB)
There is no charge for child performance licences or Body of Persons Approvals.
Rules applying to every performance
Whether or not licences are required, organisers must ensure that children do not work (perform or rehears) longer or later than fits their age. Children must have proper breaks. Time spent in make-up, wardrobe or other physical preparation does not count as a break. Overnight breaks should normally be no less than 14 hours.
Any child taking part in a performance must not take part in any other employment on the day of performance or the day after. This does not affect performances on two consecutive days.
Children cannot be properly cared for and supervised by parents or teachers all the time when rehearsing or performing, and so chaperones are licenced by the local authority. The chaperone must act in the best interests of the child and so must have appropriate training.
Chaperone license applications can take up to six weeks to be processed.
Timescales and Communication
Application forms for performance licences and body of persons approvals should be submitted no less than 21 days before the start of the activity. Some licence applications may take less time to process but this cannot be guaranteed.