Playgrounds

Department for Education written question – answered on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the closure of children’s playgrounds on the health, security, safety and education of children.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Local authorities and schools seek consent from the Secretary of State to dispose of playing field land that is surplus or unused. The department has a strong policy presumption against the disposal of school playing fields and has a set of criteria used to assess applications for consent. These include assessing whether the school can continue to meet its curriculum needs. The department gives consent only if the criteria are met, and where the proceeds from sales are to be reinvested in sports and education facilities.

PE remains a compulsory subject at all four key stages in the national curriculum, ensuring that all children and young people continue to engage in sport and physical activity as they progress through education and beyond. Schools are free to organise and deliver a diverse and challenging PE curriculum, but through the primary PE and sport premium. The government has invested over £600m of ring-fenced funding to primary schools to improve PE and sport since 2013, and will double the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year from September 2017. We also recently announced the creation of the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme, committing £415m of additional funding from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy for primary, secondary, and sixth form colleges to support PE, after school activities, healthy eating, and young people suffering with mental health issues.

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