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Temporary Event Notices and school events

Comment 27th July 2010

Establish an exemption for regulated entertainment at schools. 

A temporary event notice is currently required for all unlicensed premises for regulated entertainment, the supply of alcohol and late night refreshments with specific requirements being determined by local authority licensing officers.

Currently, a temporary event notice can be required to hold a school disco for pupils and the screening of a film.

Why does this matter?

The National Confederation for Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) has estimated that there are approximately 24,000 events held in school every year organised by PTAs involving some form of regulated entertainment only which may require a temporary event notice (TEN).  Such events include school discos for pupils and the screening of a film. 

Schools and colleges are currently exempt from the requirements where the regulated entertainment is to support learning or the social aspects of school.  However, this is dependent on the event not being open to the public and any charge made only being to cover costs.  As a result, a PTA may have to gain a temporary event notice in order to invite the local community to participate and to raise funds for the benefit of the school.

An exemption for regulated entertainment at schools (possibly limited to not-for-profit activity) would enable thousands of PTAs to get on with organising fundraising activities in schools without incurring a cost of £21 per event (potentially a cumulative cost of half a million pounds a year) and at the same time reducing the administrative burden.  This would also overcome the difficulty of potentially thousands of PTA volunteers who fall foul of regulated entertainment requirements because they are unclear often due to local.  NCPTA has found that regulated entertainment requirements vary greatly between licensing authorities.  Any individual convicted of permitting an unauthorised licensable activity to be carried on is liable for a fine of up to £20,000, or to imprisonment for six months, or both.

This could be a quick and easy win as much of the development work on a 'de minimis' exemption was undertaken in late 2008 by the Licensing Projects Team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (now transferred to the Home Office) but dropped due to lack of time.  This was undertaken on the basis that these activities are likely to have little or no adverse impact on the licensing objectives and should therefore be exempt from the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003.

The late night refreshments requirement has virtually no impact on PTA activities and it is not considered appropriate to extend the exemption to events featuring the supply of alcohol.

NCPTA is a registered charity and membership organisation supporting all forms of home-school association with 13,500 associations in membership across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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