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Pouring sparkiling wine at a summer fair

FAQs Temporary Event Notices (TENs)

Negotiating your way through the event-licensing minefield can leave even the calmest of PTAs feeling frazzled. We asked senior licensing officer, Paul Thornton, to answer the most common questions relating to Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

Download our at-a-glance guide to TENs and other event licensing requirements.

Why do I need a TEN?

Historically a PTA needed a TEN for the sale of alcohol and/or for 'regulated entertainment', however many of the activities outlined as 'regulated entertainment' have now been deregulated (from 6 April 2015). A TEN is still required for the supply of alcohol i.e. sale by retail and 'proxy' sales (drinks included in the ticket price, donations for alcohol).

There are three types of licence:

  1. Club Premises Certificate (not applicable for PTAs)

  2. Premises Licence

  3. Temporary Event Notice

Application for a Premises Licence to include the sale of alcohol costs between £100-£635 (depending in the non-domestic rateable value). During the 28-day application period, an advert must be placed in the newspaper (cost circa £250-£300). If/when the licence is granted there is an annual charge, ranging from £70-£350. There is an exemption for the application fee for schools BUT only if the licensable activities relate purely to regulated entertainment (not the sale of alcohol).

A TEN costs £21 and is, in effect, a temporary licence authorising regulated entertainment and/or the sale of alcohol.

As a result of deregulatory changes that have amended the 2003 Act, NO LICENCE IS REQUIRED for the following activities:

  • Plays: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Dance: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Films: no licence is required for 'not-for-profit' film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings. The deregulation guidance further explains, "Under this exemption, one condition is that the film entertainment is not being provided with a view to profit. An entry charge does not of itself make the film entertainment licensable; it is whether the organiser intended to make a profit (that includes raising money for charity). A charge or contribution that is made solely to cover the costs of the film screening is consistent with 'not being provided with a view to profit'. The 'not with a view to profit' condition applies solely to the activity of exhibiting the film under this exemption. A charge with a view to making a profit may legitimately be levied for any other activity or event that is distinct from film admission, such as the provision of refreshments, film talks, or a social event."
  • Indoor sporting events: no licence is required for an event between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that those present do not exceed 1,000.
  • Music: no licence is required for a performance involving amplified live music and/or recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at the non-residential premises of a school, provided that the audience does not exceed 500, and the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from the local authority concerned or the school. 

Who should apply for a TEN - a PTA committee member or school staff?

The person who applies should be the one who will be responsible at the event to ensure the licensing objectives are met. If the event is a PTA event, a PTA person should apply.

Would we be better off speaking to the head about obtaining a Premises Licence? How much does this cost?

A Premises Licence covers your school or PTA for any number of events up to 5,000 people. If you want a Premises License for regulated entertainment only and do not have the sale of alcohol included as an authorised activity, there is no fee. Many schools already have this, so it's worth checking. Applications include a 28-day consultation process. This involves you copying your application to nine separate bodies (including the police, Trading Standards and the HSE), posting a notice on your premises and placing an ad in the local press. If you include the provision of alcohol on the licence you will need a DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor) and you will be charged an application fee and annual fee. If you don't have alcohol included as part of the Licence, you simply need to apply for a TEN to cover the sale of alcohol at each event.

A 'Personal Alcohol Licence Holder' can give 50 TENs per year, 'Other People' only five. This isn't a lot, so what's the difference?

A 'Personal Alcohol Licence Holder' is someone who has a recognised licensing qualification and is the holder of such a licence issued by the Local Authority. By default 'Other People' do not!

We're holding a music festival and anticipate selling over 1,200 tickets - as this exceeds the limit of 499 attendees, what do we do?

Contact your local Licensing Authority immediately! The limit for participants under the authority of a TEN is 499, including staff. You may need to apply for a Premises Licence for this event. As a rule of thumb, allow two months from applying for a Premises Licence to it being granted. This allows for a 28 day consultation process and a Licensing Committee Hearing if there are objections.

Over 500 people attend our summer fair, but the beer tent is only frequented by a fraction. Does the limit only apply to the licensed activity rather than the whole event?

An interesting debate this one. There is a school of thought that states the use of a small roped off area in a beer tent, which can hold less than 499 people, is a way of circumventing the legislation. In the circumstances you describe, a TEN would suffice, provided the area for sale of alcohol is restricted as described.

We're holding a wine-tasting evening, with alcohol supplied for tasting purposes only. Given that we're not actually selling any wine, we don't need a TEN, right?

Wrong! In my view this is classified as the 'supply of alcohol'. The 'supply of alcohol' is defined in the Licensing Act as: 'the sale by retail of alcohol, or the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club.' This means that 'sale' includes prepaying for a ticket then getting a 'free' alcoholic drink as part of an all-inclusive ticket. Alcohol is only 'free' if given unconditionally. It costs £21 for a TEN, so really it isn't worth a PTA member spending hours of their life trying to find a way to circumvent licensing laws!

Does a school disco count as regulated entertainment? Do we need a TEN, a PRS for Music or a PPL Licence?

A TEN is NOT REQUIRED for a disco event because 'recorded music' is no longer classified as regulated entertainment. PRS for Music and PPL Licences ensure royalties are distributed to the musical artists you are listening to, but have nothing to do with the Licensing Act 2003. Read guidance on music licensing here.

We're holding a film night - do we need a TEN and a Single Title Licence?

No TEN is required for 'not-for-profit' film exhibition held in your school between 08.00 and 23.00 to an audience of 500 aor less (see above), but the Single Title Licence is nothing to do with the Local Authority - these should be obtained from the company representing the studio for the film you are screening. Speak to Filmbank Distributors Ltd.

Read our at-a-glance guide to licensing requirements for the most popular PTA events.

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The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.

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