The TES is reporting that councils are planning on selling hundreds of acres of land, which is used as school playing fields.
The amount of school playing field land earmarked for sell-off has increased dramatically to a seven-year high, a TES investigation reveals.
Information from 65 local authorities shows that they sought permission to sell or transfer 160 acres of school playing fields last year – more than double the amount set aside the previous year.
This is the most playing field land marked for sell-off in a single year during the seven years for which data is available.
Almost half of the land was in three local authority areas – Knowsley, Kent and Barnsley – all of which have higher than average levels of overweight and obese children of Reception age.
The TES investigation also shows that school playing-field sales since 2010 – including those for which Department for Education approval was not required – have already raised more than £100 million for the 65 councils that responded to TES Freedom of Information requests.
The same authorities asked the DfE for permission to dispose of 684 acres of school playing field land – equal to 456 professional football pitches – the analysis reveals.
Tim Gill, a former director of the Children’s Play Council who advised David Cameron on childhood when he was leader of the opposition, said: “Despite promises from successive governments, hundreds of acres of playing fields are being sold off, leaving children deprived of space for sport and play.”
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