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Are you allowed to serve alcohol at PTA events when children are present?

(34 Posts)
moneytree Tue 08-May-12 14:28:37


Is there a law against this? I have recently been told that there is a ruling against this. Anyone know more about this?


yousankmybattleship Tue 08-May-12 14:29:49

Of course you can - but you need a licence.

titchy Tue 08-May-12 14:39:58

Or you don't SELL alcohol but suggest a donation.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Tue 08-May-12 14:45:40

You can but you can't sell the alcohol. You can charge a ticket price for entry which may include a glass of something, and from then on donations are welcome.

DamselInDisgrace Tue 08-May-12 14:45:41

DS1's school serves alcohol at school plays and concerts. There was mulled wine at Christmas time and ordinary wine last time.

The kids still got weak squash, because it's the law to serve weak squash at school events.

Elibean Tue 08-May-12 15:00:10

Yes. We recently got a license for forthcoming Summer Fair (used to do the ticket/donations thing, but as school and fairs get larger thought license wise!)

5madthings Tue 08-May-12 15:12:10

yes you can get a license, our school does for the summer fete and sells beer, pimms etc its fine i thought?

upahill Tue 08-May-12 15:15:02

DS'S old primary school sells alcohol at their fairs.
They get a license and also have a BBQ.
It is a nice chilled event in the summer and the Christmas one is good where they have mulled wine and carols!

Shame the high school never did this.

GateGipsy Tue 08-May-12 15:41:56

we've chosen not to at our school in the past, but they sell alcohol at our sister school's summer fair.

Just make sure you get a licence. I see other people suggesting donations, tickets etc But really it costs so little and is so easy to do. And then you're totally covered for your liability insurance. Also the school is placing its trust in you. If you do this without a licence, someone gets hurt or property is damaged through being under the influcence, what happens if the PTA is sued and insurance refuses to cover it?

Costs £20-ish and in our local authority, need to do so more than 10 working days in advance.

PatriciaHolm Tue 08-May-12 16:21:03

If you are supplying alcohol at an event and money changes hands for it (so, if a glass is included in the price of the event, or you request donations, or charge a set price for it) you need a Temporary Events License. Including a "free glass" in the ticket price or asking for donations DOES NOT get you out of needing a licence!

Fortunately licenses are really easy to get, your local council should have a form, and in many cases you can do it online. It costs £21.

moneytree Tue 08-May-12 16:48:32

We have served alcohol at PTA events for years and we did get the licenses etc. Now the head is saying that we cannot serve alcohol if children are on the same ruling apparantely!

ChasingSquirrels Tue 08-May-12 16:52:13

at a tangent - do you need a licence to serve (totally free) mulled wine?

we have a bar at our summer fair and have a licence, and have a bring-your-own to a BBQ event, but we do serve mulled wine at the Christmas performances, totally free of charge & no donations requested.

Hulababy Tue 08-May-12 16:53:26

Yes you can as far as I know. Happens regularly here.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 08-May-12 16:55:25

tis the heads decision then, there is no law about it!!
We would have almost no turn out if we didn't sell pimms and beer at the summer fete. (not quite but it certainly helps the crowds hang round rather than spend and run.)

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 08-May-12 16:56:40

CS no need for licence if no money is changing hands, if there is implied purchase ie free wine with ticket price then it is murkier water and we get a licence to cover us. However if there is no ticket price then you are fine.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 08-May-12 16:56:52

moneytree -he sounds like a right spoilsport he might have misunderstood some ruling or other.

We have a license for the summer fayre where we sell beer, wine, Pimms etc and all other events have a drink included in the ticket price or for donations.

DottyDot Tue 08-May-12 16:58:12

Yes thank god

ChasingSquirrels Tue 08-May-12 16:59:36

thanks NKU

JWIM Tue 08-May-12 17:06:10

Moneytree your HT may have reached that decision as part of your Child Protection policy - if so then perhaps try to find a middle way - can serve but only by approved persons to ensure no risk of sale/consumption to/by minors.

BloooCowWonders Tue 08-May-12 17:47:05

We had one of those temporary heads. Sighs of relief all round when she left...
Just make sure you include plenty of non-alcoholic drinks too

moneytree Tue 08-May-12 19:33:38

Thanks everyone for your feedback and my suspicions seem to be correct. JWIM we did offer a compromise but she is not willing to move on this but instead blaming a non existing policy. She is a new head and I showing her is a really unpopular decision. It is a shame as it we will lose out on funds, community spirit and showing minors how to drink in a responsible manner.

Thanks again everyone for taking the time, appreciated

PiedWagtail Wed 09-May-12 20:42:48

Yep, you need a licence. Our PTA sells alcohol at all events!! smile

squeaver Wed 09-May-12 20:45:11

Contact our local council for a temporary events licence. They usually process them very quickly and with no issues (ime).

Oh, sorry, have just seen your last post. Oh well

Twistlethant Thu 10-May-12 12:34:40

Shame, as your school will be losing out - our summer fair Pimm's tent makes a bigger profit than anything else!

MrsPnut Thu 10-May-12 12:37:41

We have a licence to sell alcohol at events, it costs us £20 and we did it online.

We make more money on alcohol and sweets than anything else at all our events, and as the school really benefit from the money we raise, we will keep doing it.

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