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Schools: Playing Fields

Volume 493: debated on Thursday 4 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the area of land used for school playing fields (a) in 1997 and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available. (278032)

Data on areas of school playing fields and external spaces were supplied to my Department by local education authorities in 2001 and 2003. However, the completeness and quality of the data were not good enough to accurately estimate the area of land used.

Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act was introduced in October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools now need the Secretary of State’s consent before they can dispose of a playing field or any part of a playing field.