HC Deb 09 March 2004 vol 418 cc1383-4W
Mr. Doug Henderson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his Department sets as(a) the ideal and (b) the minimum sports facilities for a secondary school. [159866]

Mr. Miliband

Advice on the requirements for accommodation in secondary schools, including sports provision. will be available on the web from 1 April 2004 in Building Bulletin 98: Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects. This will supersede the current Area Guidelines for Schools and enhance the current area recommendations.

The guidance sets out minimum recommended provision and also allows sufficient overall area to allow for further facilities, both indoor and outdoor, appropriate to the priorities of individual schools. Hence:

(a) the ideal provision will depend on the priorities of the school and its extended role in providing facilities for the wider community. For instance, while all schools would be able to offer community use outside school hours, sports colleges and other schools could provide facilities more appropriate to the regional demands of specific sports.

(b) the minimum provision recommended for new secondary schools, in line with current guidance, is a minimum indoor sports provision of a four-court sports hall, to Sport England minimum specifications and other large spaces (including the main hall and activity studios that would be used for Physical Education and should be appropriate and sufficient to ensure that examinations and assemblies need not take place in the sports hall. Minimum recommended outdoor facilities include pitches for summer and winter games and a hard surfaced multi-use games area, again to Sport England minimum specifications.

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