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Schools: Community Relations

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to encourage schools to open their facilities to community groups. (185668)

Opening school facilities to the community is one of the key elements of the extended schools core offer. We are committed to all schools providing access to the core offer of extended services by 2010 with at least half of all primary and a third of secondary schools doing so by September 2008.

Where a school has facilities suitable for use by the local community (e.g. playing fields, halls, sport and IT facilities) they are encouraged to open these up to meet the needs of the community in response to local demand. Schools are expected to consult with pupils, parents and the local community before providing extended services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much income has been generated by maintained schools in England providing facilities for community groups in the last 12 months for which figures are available. (186793)

Opening school facilities to the community is one of the elements of the extended schools core offer. We are committed to all schools providing access to the core offer of extended services by 2010 with at least half of all primary and a third of secondary schools doing so by September 2008.

Information is not collected centrally on the number of school facilities that have opened up for extended school provision or how much schools charge for their facilities. Local authorities have different systems and variable rates around schools charging community groups to use their facilities.