Sport and Recreation Alliance statement on the sale of school playing fields

Publish date: 
Fri, 17/08/2012 - 10:02

Reports today claim that the Secretary of State for Education has overturned a number of the recommendations of the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel, of which the Sport and Recreation Alliance is a member.

Historically, when a minister has overturned the panel’s recommendations, he has written to the chair of the panel to advise him and to explain the reason. No such letter or advice has been received by the panel or its chair.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance is very concerned if the panel’s judgement is being disregarded and believes that such conduct would create a significant crisis of confidence in the process.

The panel judges applications against a set of strict criteria and the Alliance believes that the recommendations that the panel makes should only be discounted in the most exceptional of circumstances.

The Alliance, as a member of the Advisory Panel, believes that the process for the sale or disposal of playing fields is sufficiently robust to ensure that sport and children’s interests have always been protected. However, routine rejection of the panel’s recommendations would constitute a serious breach of faith.

If you would like more information on the Alliance's position please email Libby Jellie or phone 020 7976 3933.

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