School playing fields are protected by Section 77 of the SchoolStandards and Framework Act 1998. Schoolsand local authorities must obtain the Secretary of State’s approval beforethey can dispose of their land. Applications to dispose of schoolplaying fields are considered by the independent school playing fields advisory panel, and are approved only when it is demonstrated that the application meets published criteria.
We are aware of an application by Havering Local Authority to seek approval to dispose of part of Westlands Playing Field to Romford Football Club. The application is currently being processed by officials at the Education Funding Agency, who are seeking further detail from the local authority about the proposal. The application will only be considered when sufficient information is available to assess the overall benefit of the scheme against the needs of pupils and existing community users. The Secretary of State will consider the panel’s recommendation before making her final decision.