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School Premises

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on regulations on future entertainments on school premises. [114865]

Entertainment provided by a school or college to which the public are admitted is currently licensable and will continue to be licensable under the provisions of the Licensing Bill. This is primarily because the public safety issues involved would be the same as for any other venue. although the promotion of the other licensing objectives, such as the protection of children from harm and the prevention of public nuisance are also important.A concert or other performance in a school or college which takes place for parents and students without payment will, however, be exempt from the new regime. Similarly, if the school charges parents and students but does so only to cover its costs, no licence would be required. This would mean that the school nativity play in the form that we all know would not need a licence. Any performance of music, dancing, etc that is being performed for students as part of their education would also be exempt as it would not be provided for the purpose of entertainment.The Government have also made a commitment to exempt schools and sixth form colleges from the fees associated with the provision of regulated entertainment under the licensing regime which the Bill will introduce where the entertainment is provided by the school. Under the existing legislation a reduction in or waiver of fee may be granted by a local authority outside Greater London if they consider the entertainment is

"of an educational or other like character".