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NNCEE Seeks Clarification from DCMS & DfE re Recent Announcement on Overseas Performances

Published: 10th August 2021

The Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport issued the following announcement on the 4th August 2021:

“We, as government, have spoken to every EU Member State about the issues facing our creative and cultural industries when looking to tour in Europe. From these discussions 19 Member States have confirmed UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.”


Under the 1963 Children and Young Person’s Act  young performers are required to seek a licence from the Magistrate’s Court when performing abroad, however under the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act LA's can issue a licence to work in the Republic of Ireland. Equally young performers coming into the UK to work would need a licence from the LA where the applicant lives or where their business is based. If the applicant does not reside or have a place of business in Great Britain.  Best practice and effective working practice should be that the licence is issued by the local authority where the performance or first performance if part of a tour takes place. You can find more information on page 9 of the NNCEE Guide.

NNCEE queried this announcement with both the DCMS and DfE as it makes no mention if this also applied to young performers.  The announcement replicated the agreement that existed for performers whilst the UK was a member of the European Union.  

Whilst the DCMS sent us to DFE who advised us that they think licences for young performers would still be needed. 

The NNCEE view is that this announcement does not indicate that there has been a repeal or suspension of the requirements of the 1963 or the 1933 Acts and therefore to ensure they are safeguarded children leaving or entering the UK to perform would need a licence from either the Magistrates Court or the LA as indicated above.