Playing fields sell-off goes on
Aug 07 2012
Education Secretary Michael Gove has approved the sale of over 20 school playing fields since the coalition government took office, it has been revealed.
In total, 21 out of 22 requests have been given the go ahead by the Department for Education (DfE) in the last two years, with one more still under consideration. The sell-off comes despite a pledge by the coalition to protect school playing fields.
The new figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, are likely to fuel concerns about school sport. It comes the day after Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted that school sports provision is still patchy.
Lord Moynihan, the head of the British Olympic Association (BOA), has called for a major increase in Government funding to build on the success of Team GB at the London Games.
Among the pitches approved for disposal is a 1.6 acre playing field at the Winchcombe School, a state primary in Newbury, Berkshire, which has been put up for sale with outline planning permission for housing, the Guardian reported. And a new school has been built on the site of playing fields at Woodhouse School in Staffordshire.
Some of the fields due to be sold off will still be used for sporting purposes, including Kingsbury High School in north London, which has plans to lease its pitches for five-a-side use. Others have been disposed of following school closures, the newspaper reported.
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