Working with Children and Animals


If children 16 or under are performing at your event, you will have responsibilities for their welfare, safety and supervision. These are:

  • Checking whether child performance licences are required
  • Obtaining any licences required in plenty of time and giving copies to us
  • Providing correct, legal adult supervision for all children in your event, whether performing or doing any other tasks
  • Where registered chaperones have to be used, to provide us with evidence of their registration

When is a licence needed for each child?

A performance licence will be required for each child under the age of 17 who will be performing, unless:

  • the child has performed on four days or fewer in a six month period (including your event)
  • the event is being put on by a registered, full-time education establishment (this does not apply to part-time dance or drama schools)

If neither of these exceptions apply, you will need to approach the local authority where each child resides to apply for a performance licence. You will need to do this early as there will be processing time. Bear in mind this contract allows us to cancel your performance and charge you for the rental if you don’t licence your child performers correctly.

What supervision is required for children?

Whether a licence is required or not, we expect all children to be supervised appropriately at all times.
At a minimum. there should be one responsible adult for every 10 children. In addition there must be one adult supervising for every room children are in.

If any of your child performers are to be licensed then it is a legal obligation that their supervising adults will need to be licensed chaperones. This is somebody who is licensed with a local authority to undertake this role.

In addition:

  • All responsible adults, whether licensed chaperones or not, need to have enhanced CRB checks, and you must be able to confirm that you have seen the original
  • Children must be supervised at all times by responsible adults, this includes between performances if there are more than one in one day and during all your rehearsals on site. Responsible adults must arrive on site before or with the children they are supervising
  • We will need to see evidence that chaperones are registered with a local authority

If you need more clarification on child licensing and chaperoning issues, please visit these pages on the council's website:

Child's performance licence - Hillingdon Council

Chaperone licence - Hillingdon Council

Changing room arrangements

It is not legal for minors under the age of 17 to be placed in the same dressing room as adults, even of the same sex or for them to undress and change into costume in public areas.

For this reason it is often a good idea to book additional dressing rooms if required.

Animals on Stage

Please follow this link regarding the requirements for animals involved in performances, which is now handled via Licensing rather than being referred to EHO.

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