Find out if you need a licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a licensing decision.
Do I need a licence?
You can apply for a Body of Person's Approval (BOPA) licence which means children of compulsory school age can perform in any production you're responsible for. If you've a BOPA licence, you won't need a child performance licence for each child in your performance.
A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they become 16 years of age.
- Theatre performances
- Paid sporting events
- TV and film recordings
- Dance and drama shows
- Band or orchestra performances
Who can apply?
We'll only give a BOPA licence to a group of responsible adults, such as a youth organisation, amateur dramatics club or church. We're only able to give a BOPA licence for performances taking place in the borough.
To apply for a BOPA licence, your organisation must:
- Perform 3 or more shows a year
- Have more than 10 children who are performing
- Have a child protection policy in place
If you don't meet this criteria, you can
apply for a child performance licence instead
We're also only able to give a BOPA licence for performances taking place in the borough. If you performance isn't taking place within the borough, you'll need to apply to for a licence with the council where it is taking place.
How to apply
To apply for a BOPA licence for FREE:
- Download and complete the Body of Person's Approval licence application form below.
- Email the completed form to us at
firstname.lastname@example.org at least 21 days before you need the licence.
- When you email, you should also include a document listing the names and ages of children involved in the productions and a copy of your safeguarding policy.
- We'll aim to get in touch within 10 working days to let you know any next steps.
What conditions do I need to meet?
Before we'll give you a BOPA licence, you'll need to show us:
- What actions you're taking to ensure the safety of the children in the performances, including any potential physical, emotional or psychological risks.
- The children's education won't be affected by the performances and demonstrate what actions you're taking to ensure this, if necessary.
You can tell us about these conditions and any actions you're taking on the application form.
We may refuse to give you a Body of Person's Approval licence if we believe the performance will damage a child's health, care or education.
Is my application granted if I don't hear back?
No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.
How long will my licence last?
Your BOPA licence will last only for the performances listed on your application form, unless we tell you otherwise.
How do I appeal a decision?
You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we refused your application and what actions you can take before re-applying.
If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to your local magistrates' court.
Fines and penalties
If a child performs in a production you're responsible for when you don't have a child performance licence or a BOPA licence, you could face a fine of up to £1,000. You could also be sentenced to up to 3 months in prison.