Filming with children

Productions must make adequate provision for the health & welfare needs of any children employed when filming.

Children are of compulsory school age until the academic year in which they turn 16.

There are specific rules covering children working in entertainment:


All children of compulsory school age require a performance licence to take part in any performance (A licence is granted by the local authority of where the child lives. This may not necessarily be the same local authority as the child’s school). Applications for performance licences should be submitted at least 21 days before the date of the first performance. Although SCC will process applications received with less than 21 days notice whenever possible, they cannot guarantee to do so. They will charge a fee of £35 per licence for applications received five full working days or less before the date of the first performance. See the SCC guidance to help you complete the performance licence application form.

SCC can allow exemption approvals to some organisations putting on non-professional or amateur performances that would normally have to licence individual children taking part, for example, amateur dramatics, operatic societies, dance schools and organisers of music/drama/dance festivals. These are issued per performance/festival or for 12 months and the performance/festival must still comply with the law around children in entertainment. SCC provide guidance and have an exemptions application form organisations need to complete.

Organisations that wish to involve children in their productions should have a child protection policy. SCC have produced guidance to help you write a child protection policy for your organisation.

For more information, please see our Surrey County Council guidance page.

Please contact the Child Employment Team on 01483 517838 or should you require further assistance with your application.


Further information can also be found on the National Network for Children in Employment & Entertainment (NNCEE) website