Michael Gove’s department has approved the sale of two school playing fields every month since the Olympics, new figures show. This is from the Telegraph…
Figures published by the Department for Education show that 50 playing fields between May 2010 when the new Government was formed and June 2013.
Of those, 19 applications were approved by ministers since last August’s London 2012 Olympics, which was meant to increase sports participation.
The figures also disclose that the Government over-ruled its own advisers on playing fields six times in the past three years.
Last year Education secretary Michael Gove was forced to apologise after an investigation by The Daily Telegraph found that the number of school playing fields in England sold off was higher than had been previously admitted.
The revelations led to tens of thousands of people to sign a petition urging Mr Gove to bring in more protections for playing fields.
Labour criticised the sales. Stephen Twigg MP, Shadow Education Secretary, said: “David Cameron and Michael Gove are putting the Olympic legacy at risk.
“Parents will be shocked that the Government is still selling off playing fields, many against the advice of the independent playing fields panel. School sport provision is already patchy since Michael Gove dismantled Labour’s School Sports Partnerships.
“The Government needs to focus on school sport – they should start by restoring Labour’s minimum requirement that all children do at least 2 hours of PE and competitive sport every week.”
When playing fields are sold other sports facilities were put in their place, while any proceeds had to be put back into improving sports and school facilities.
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