Local authorities require the Secretary of State for Education’s consent to dispose of their school playing field land under section 77 of The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (SSFA) and Schedule 1 of the Academies Act 2010.
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (the Council) applied for consent to dispose of the Two Trees High School site in 2016. Officials sought clarification on several issues in August 2017. No formal response was received from the Council and there have been no recent discussions with the Council as to the use of the closed school site.
The Council’s 2016 application has now been closed and the Council would need to re-apply to seek consent to dispose of the site. The site was last used by a maintained school in May 2015 so the requirement for the Council to seek consent will expire in May 2023 (for consent under the Academies Act) and May 2025 (for consent under the SSFA).
Any new application under the SSFA would be considered by the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel, whose role is to provide an independent recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education. Sport England has an observer on the Panel and their comments would be considered as part of the decision-making process.
The department will keep the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish updated should the council re-apply.