Child employment

If you have a group of children who are performing

If you have a group of children who are performing, you'll need what's known as a Body of Persons Approval Licence (or BOPA). Licenses are granted on a per-performance basis, so you'll need to apply for every performance. At least 21 days' notice is required ahead of any rehearsals.

Application files

If you're responsible for the children, you're the one who needs to apply for the licence.

How the process works

  1. complete the application form and contract of agreement
  2. send them to us, along with a copy of your child protection policy
    You can email to childemployment@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or post to:
    Access and inclusion service
    Central Bedfordshire Council
    Watling House
    High Street North
    Dunstable
    Bedfordshire
    LU6 1LF
  3. we'll do some checks (we may ask for a meeting) and will agree with you appropriate care of the children

Approval criteria

We can only approve a licence application if:

  • neither the child performers, nor any other person acting on their behalf, receive any payment other than expenses
  • performances all take place within Central Bedfordshire
  • children will not miss any school to perform or rehearse (if children will be absent from school to perform or rehearse, you'll need to apply for individual licences for them)
  • you can demonstrate that you are a suitable organisation and will ensure the children involved in your performances will be well looked after with due regard to safeguarding best practice

Things we'll check before granting a licence

  • child performers will be supervised by licensed chaperones
  • you'll comply with the regulations on days and permitted hours of performance, as stipulated in the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
  • the rehearsal/performance venues are suitable places for children to perform
  • you have ensured appropriate arrangements are in place to transport the children to and from the venue and released into the care of an appropriate person
  • you will not use the children in performances which may be dangerous
  • you can demonstrate that you can meet any health, safety and welfare conditions we set
  • you have, or will obtain, medical consent from each child's parent or guardian which states the child is fit to take part in the performance (medicals aren't required for each child, but you need to ensure each child's parent or guardian has signed the form)
  • you have a child protection policy in place and have supplied a copy to us
  • you will allow our authorised officer to have unrestricted access whilst any rehearsal or performance is taking place

Records

You must ensure that you keep records of each child's performance as required by Schedule 3 Children and Young Persons, Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 6046
Email: childemployment@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk