HL Deb 25 October 1983 vol 444 cc241-2WA
Lord Sandford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will list and briefly describe the more notable successes and failures by local education authorities to develop the "dual use" of schools and colleges for leisure and recreational use; and what further support and encouragement they intend to give to maximise such use.

The Earl of Swinton

Responsibility for the use of their premises rests with local education authorities and information on individual cases of dual use is not collected centrally. However, a sample survey carried out in 1978–79 in England suggested that the dual use of maintained school premises was widespread: 59 per cent. of all schools were regularly used by members of the public outside school hours during term time; and 19 per cent. of all schools were so used during the school holidays. A seperate survey carried out in Wales at the same time showed comparable figures of 53 per cent. and 10per cent. respectively. The survey is now being repeated in both countries to see whether the pattern of community use has changed.

Consistent encouragement has been given over the years to local education authorities to promote dual use and my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science said in another place on 4th March that he hoped that local authorities would continue to promote the community use of maintained school premises so far as practicable within the resources available to them. [Official Report, Commons; vol. 38, col. 258.] Some examples of schemes involving joint provision of school and community facilities have been described in publications by the Department of Education and Science. Copies are available in the Library of Building Bulletins 49 (1973) and 59 (1981) on the Abraham Moss Centre, Manchester, and the Victoria Centre, Crewe, respectively, and of Design Note 11 (1973) about the Chaucer Infant and Nursery School, Ilkeston; also of Design Note 14 (1976) which deals more generally with school and community use, and Broadsheet 15 (1983) on the Community Use of Primary Schools.