Children in work, entertainment and chaperones

Children in work, entertainment and chaperones

There is legislation in place to protect children who are of compulsory school age and who work part-time or who are involved in entertainment, sporting activities or modelling.

Children in work / employment

The child employment leaflet explains the type of work and hours that children (who are of compulsory school age) are legally allowed to do. The law states that a child is of compulsory school age up to the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16. If your child finds a part-time job they will need to apply for a work permit from Cambridgeshire County Council, which must be signed by you as parents / carers, their employer and their school (not required during school holidays).

Children in entertainment

There are regulations covering children working in entertainment (this covers children from birth to end of compulsory school leaving age), which includes restrictions on the working hours / breaks. The performance hours and breaks table shows details of these restrictions.

More information on child employment and entertainment can be found on GOV.UK or by calling Cambridgeshire County Council's Child Employment Team on 01354 750 166.

Performance licence and work permit application forms can be submitted via email to:

A Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

A Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) allows children to perform in productions without the need to apply for a child performance licence for each child. There must be no school absence or payment to the child.

The BOPA is only issued to a group of responsible adults such as a Youth Theatre, Dance Schools, Amateur Dramatic Societies and in some cases a Professional Company. The BOPA is issued by the Local Authority in which the performance is taking place. Children must always be supervised by their own parent or a licensed chaperone who's allowed to look after a maximum of 12 children. This ratio may be reduced depending on the venue and ages of children.

The licence is for a single production, and must be applied for 21 days before the first day of the performance.


Children in entertainment can be looked after either by their own parent or a licensed chaperone. To apply to become a chaperone, please see the Terms of Reference document below.


Child Employment Office
Telephone: 01354 750 166
Post: Young People March, City Road, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 9LS