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Council Services:

Body of Persons guidance

The Children & Young Persons Act 1963 gives a local authority under Section 37(3)(b) the power to issue a licence to a Body of Persons e.g. a group of responsible adults - youth organisations, amateur dramatics, etc. (but not usually professional companies) to enable them to engage children in non broadcast and recorded performances without the need to apply for separate licences for each child for each production.

The Body of Persons must then provide the Local Authority with the following information in advance:

  • The names, addresses and dates of birth of all the young people who will be performing;
  • The venue and dates of performances;
  • The names and addresses of the adults forming the Body of Persons.

Applicants should apply for this licence not less than 21 working days prior to the first performance provided they can meet the following criteria.

Approval can be granted providing:

  • The child performers receive no payment other than expenses;
  • The performance is for a stage production;
  • The performances all take place within the Lincolnshire County Council area;
  • The child performers are supervised by the adults who form the body of persons and are licensed chaperones;
  • The organisation complies with the regulations on days and permitted hours of Performance contained in the Children (Performance) Regulations 1968;
  • That the Child Employment Team agreed that the rehearsal/performance venue(s) are suitable places for children to perform;
  • The organiser/Body of Persons have ensured appropriate arrangements are in place to transport child performers to and from the venue and released into the care of an appropriate person;
  • The organiser/Body of Persons will not allow the children to take part in performances that may be dangerous;
  • The organiser can demonstrate that it can meet any health, safety and welfare conditions set by the local authority;
  • The organiser has obtained from each child’s parent a medical consent form saying the child is fit to take part in the performance;
  • The Body of Persons has a Child Protection Policy in place and has supplied a copy to the Local Authority;
  • The Body of Persons/Organiser allow access to an authorised member of the Local Authority to carry out an inspection at both dress/technical rehearsals and productions;
  • No child of compulsory school age requires any absence from school for a rehearsal or performance (Full licence applications are required where absence from school is required).

The holders of the licence must ensure that they keep records of each young person’s performance as required by Schedule 3 Children and Young Persons, The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968.

Approval can only be granted for young people who perform solely for the holder(s) of the Body of Persons Licence.

The Applicant

The chair person or secretary of each society is normally the person who applies for the Body of Persons Licence and must complete an appropriate application form.

The Application

The application must be made on the appropriate application form. The application form asks for details of the society/company that is running the production together with details of the performance dates, times and venue.

The licence applicant must provide a list of the names, dates of birth and addresses of the children taking part in the performance.

Medicals are not required for each child, but the licence applicant should ensure that each child’s parent has signed a form declaring that the child is fit and healthy and that participation in the performance will not impact on his health.

The applicant must also provide the names and addresses of the adults who are to be named as part of the Body of Persons and Licensed Chaperones.

Lincolnshire County Council grants a Body of Persons licence on a strictly Production basis, however the right is reserved to withdraw a licence if it is felt the above conditions are not being met.

Body of Persons licence - do’s and don’ts

The following relates to children who are part of a Body of Persons licence which is only applicable to stage productions.


Children must not receive payment for any performance, other than expenses.


Children who are part of a Body of Persons are not individually licensed therefore they are not allowed to take time off from their education for a performance. For this reason, no child must perform or rehearse at a time when they should be in school.

Place of performance

The place of performance is defined as the area backstage that includes the stage, wings, dressing rooms and green room.

All performances must be within the jurisdiction of the Lincolnshire County Council to whom the Body of Persons has applied to for a licence.


All children must be chaperoned by their own parent/s or a licensed chaperone with a regulatory requirement of a ratio of 1 adult to 12 children.

However, Good Practice, recommends that a male and a female chaperone is available to enable gender issues to be accommodated as well as allowing for continued supervision of the children should it be necessary for a chaperone to deal with individual issues when they arise.

NB: unless the parent is a licensed chaperone they cannot chaperone other children.

Number of performances

A child cannot take part in a rehearsal or a performance on more than 6 days in any period of 7 days (note that in this context rehearsal is defined as one taking place during the life of the licence).

If in the life of a Body of Persons Licence a child is additionally called upon to take part in or rehearse for another production other than that that is covered by the Body of Persons Licence then the child cannot take part on more than 5 days in any period of 7 days.

Length of time performing

  • A child must not take part in a performance that lasts for more than 3.5 hours.
  • A child’s appearance in each performance must not exceed 2.5 hours.
  • A child must not take part in more than 2 performances or one rehearsal and one performance in a day.
  • A child must have a break of 1.5 hours between 2 performances or rehearsals in the same day. This break of 1.5 hours can be reduced to 45 minutes on 2 days in a week as long as the child is not at the same place of performance for more than 6 hours.
  • If a child performs or rehearses on consecutive days there must be a break of 14 hours or more between each day that they are performing. e.g. if there is a performance with an end time of 10:00 pm then the child cannot take part in another rehearsal or performance until 12:00 noon the following day.

Permitted hours for stage performances

After each performance the regulations allow 30 minutes after their performance for the children to shower and change, therefore standard start and finish times are:

AgeEarliest start timeLatest finish timeLatest departure time from theatre
A child aged younger than 13 years10:00 am10:00 pm10:00 pm
A child aged 13 years and over10:00 am10:30 pm10:30 pm

The latest finish time may be extended by 30 minutes on a maximum of 3 evenings in any one week at the discretion of the Local Authority (LA) this then means that finish times and theatre departure times could be:

AgeEarliest start timeLatest finish timePlus discretionary 30 minutesLatest departure time from theatre
A child aged younger than 13 years10:00 am10:00 pm10:30 pm10:30 pm
A child aged 13 years and over10:00 am10:30 pm11:00 pm11:00 pm

Information/records to be retained 

A record must be kept by the Body of Persons applicant on each child’s performance, for 6 months after the last performance of each production, for inspection if called upon.


Any queries should be addressed to the Child Employment Officer for Lincolnshire County Council on telephone number 01790 753574.


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Last updated: 4 August 2017

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