Educational welfare services
Child entertainment, employment and chaperones
Please note: To safeguard children and slow the spread of COVID-19, the Council has decided to postpone the issue of any new work permits until such time that schools reopen and social distancing is no longer required. For further information, see the Statement regarding child work permits.
We are responsible for issuing licences to children of statutory school age and under. This includes theatre, film and television work and taking part in paid modelling and sporting activities.
Individual child performance licence
You can find out more information and apply for an individual child performance licence at the following webpage:
Body of Persons approval (BOPA)
You can find out more information and apply for BOPA at the following webpage:
Employment of young people
Work permits are required for young people who carry out work outside of school hours. It is illegal to employ a child without a work permit. If a child is employed, it cannot affect their education or schooling hours. They must also be over the age of 13.
Work permits only need to be applied for once the child has had an offer of employment.
Children are not allowed to work if:
- they do not have an employment permit issued by the Education Department of the local council
- the work is in places like a factory or industrial site
- the work is during school hours
- the work is before 7.00am or after 7.00pm
- it takes place more than one hour before school (unless local bylaws allow it)
- it is more than 4 hours without taking a break of at least 1 hour
- it takes place in a pub or betting shop and those prohibited in local bylaws
- it is any work that may be harmful to their health, well-being or education
- it prevents the child having a 2 week break. This applies to any work during the school holidays in each calendar year.
Swindon byelaws on employment of young people
An application form must be completed by the employer, the child’s parent or carer and the child’s school (unless home educated).
The application must include the following:
- A clear photo of the child
- Parent or guardian signature
- School’s approval and signature
- Full contact details including an email address (where possible)
- Days and hours the child will be working
Apply for a work permit
To apply for a work permit, download and complete the following form:
For more details on what children can and can’t do, read the Swindon Byelaws on the Employment of Children of Compulsory School Age (PDF)
If you need to assist a child at a performance and you are not the legal guardian, you must apply to be a chaperone.
The local authority must approve a chaperone to have care and control of a child. This is to safeguard, support and promote the well-being of the child while they are taking part in a performance. This includes any rehearsals and activities or while they are living away from home during the period of the licence.
This does not apply if the child is being cared for by a parent or teacher who would ordinarily provide the child's education. The maximum number of children a licenced chaperone can care for is 12.
You can apply to become a chaperone from the age of 16, subject to a DBS check.
Apply for a chaperone licence
To apply for a chaperone licence, download and complete the following form:
Further details are available in the Chaperone Guidelines (PDF)
Required notice for all licence applications
We require 21 days’ notice to complete all licences and work permits with the exception of chaperones. In this case, we require a minimum of 60 working days’ notice. If you are unable to give us enough notice, we may be able to issue your licence or permit in time, if you contact us by email below. Applications received with less than 21 days’ notice may be refused.
It is important to note that we need to be in receipt of ALL paperwork in order to begin processing licences and permits. It is the agency or applicant’s responsibility to provide us with this information.
Email all completed forms to us at: Childlicence@swindon.gov.uk
Alternatively, post completed forms to:
The Child Licence Team
For further information on any of the details above email: Childlicence@swindon.gov.uk
If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child taking part in a performance or who is employed, contact us on Childlicence@swindon.gov.uk or ring 01793 465030. You can also contact us if you believe the child is performing without a licence.