HC Deb 25 July 2000 vol 354 c568W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what provisions there are in PFI contracts for schools and LEAs on the control of and charging for out of school hours use of school buildings and facilities by the contractors in relation to(a) IT facilities, (b) sports facilities, (c) music facilities and (d) use of meeting rooms. [132742]

Jacqui Smith

The Department is not directly responsible for the procurement of schools PFI contracts, and therefore does not hold comprehensive information about the use of school facilities out of school hours. Provisions for any third party use are a matter for negotiation between the school, local education authority and the contractor and, as such, vary from contract to contract. Within schools PFI contracts, however, it is open to the local education authority and the schools concerned to permit their private sector partner to charge for the use of the facilities by others when they are not being used by the schools. There is no requirement, or expectation, that a school must make its facilities available to the wider community on a commercial basis, but allowing such use may encourage lifelong learning, help to reduce vandalism, and have the added benefit of reducing the cost of the scheme overall.