Petition to protect school playing fields stepped up as pressure rises on Gove

The fight to save school playing fields received renewed impetus today following the revelations Michael Gove overruled experts five timesto approve sell-offs.

The fight to save school playing fields received renewed impetus today following the revelations, reported this morning on Left Foot Forward, that Michael Gove overruled experts five times in the past 15 months to approve sell-offs.

The 38 Degrees petition to protect school playing fields is nearly at the 50,000-signature mark.

They point out:

Hundreds of thousands of children could be about to see their school playing fields sold off or built over. The education secretary, Michael Gove, has scrapped key safeguards. We could have only weeks to change his mind before for sale signs start appearing.

Without playing fields it’s hard to imagine the kids of today – the Team GB of tomorrow – will ever match this year’s record Olympic medal haul. Once playing fields are sold off to private developers they’ll be gone forever.

The government won’t want a scandal about school playing fields taking the shine off the Olympics. If enough 38 Degrees members move fast to create a big petition, we can push them to back down and bring back protections for playing fields.

School playing fields are precious for so many reasons. For lots of people, playing outside at break time helped make school a positive experience. Running around outside gets children into good exercise habits early in life. And it can help them concentrate in class the rest of the time, so they learn faster.

Too many schools already don’t have enough playing fields. We know from previous sell-offs that once open spaces are gone, it’s hard to get them back. But we also know that when 38 Degrees members come together, we can stop these kind of short-sighted plans. We did it before to protect England’s forests. Let’s come together now to protect school playing fields.

[And] it’s just emerged today that the government has been under-estimating the number of playing fields already being sold off. Scrapping these safeguards could make a worrying situation even worse.

You can sign the petition here.


See also:

Olympic stars hit back at Cameron and Gove over slashing of sports budgets 9 Aug 2012

Cameron blames teachers over school sport – ignoring his cuts and playing field sell-offs 8 Aug 2012

Without greater provision and resources, state schools will struggle to close the gold gap 6 Aug 2012

The two faces of the Tories on sport: Embracing the Games while closing swimming pools 18 May 2012

The fight to save school sport goes on 5 May 2012


Elsewhere this afternoon, Labour piled on the pressure, with shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg calling on Michael Gove to publish his reasons for overturning the playing fields panel:

“Michael Gove must come clean on why he overruled the advice of the independent School Playing Fields Advisory Panel. David Cameron once promised a new era of transparency. Michael Gove must now publish the reasons for overturning the panel and all the correspondence on the sale of playing fields.”

While the Sport and Recreation Alliance have called it a “serious breach of faith” that has created a “crisis of confidence”.

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19 Responses to “Petition to protect school playing fields stepped up as pressure rises on Gove”

  1. LB

    Elsewhere this afternoon, Labour piled on the pressure, with shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg calling on Michael Gove to publish his reasons for overturning the playing fields panel:


    How many fields did Twigg flog off when he was in power?

    Hypocritical scum considering what he did

  2. peter S

    Hi Shamik

    Can we have an update on the LFF situation regarding paying interns please? Do you have unpaid interns and what is LFF’s policy on this given LFF’s previous campaign against them.

    Thanks in advance

  3. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep spamming, it’s all you can do.
    Let’s have your tax returns, given your posting here.

  4. Newsbot9

    As usual, you’re trying to equate the left and Labour. Well, BNPer…

  5. rgb

    no he isn’t. he’s having a go at Stephen Twigg. do you even read the comments you reply to?

  6. Newsbot9

    Unlike you, yes. Tip: Like quite a few people, he’s posted under the same name for a while.

  7. kjhgb

    how do you know it’s not different people under the same name?

    for example, I think you are a batch of badly wired ZX81s running piss-poor teenager emulation programmes set up to keep spamming the words shill, 1% and BNP at this blog.

  8. ljh

    My tax returns for the UK or Singapore?

  9. Newsbot9

    You expect me to believe you pay UK tax npw?

  10. Newsbot9

    Right, you don’t think. And because I do.

    Thanks for admitting who you support, though.

  11. dsfg

    “No, I am NOT stupid. N-O-T.”

    That’s a double negative. You are admitting (as if it needed your confirmation anyway) that you are stupid. Well done.

  12. Newsbot9

    Ah, you can’t even recognise, Mr. Keyboard Faceroll, a full stop.

    Home or private education?

  13. ger

    Bog standard comprehensive unfortunately.

    Which bit was the sarcasm?

  14. Newsbot9

    If you missed it…

  15. working class lad

    Middle class academic champagne socialists like Newsbot or Toynbee should f#ck off. They don’t represent me. They are the 1%.

  16. blarg1987

    WHat should happen is that if School playing fields are sold they should be sold under best overall value to the community and not monetory value, so if schools need repairs this fundinfg should come from goverment not the idea of selling fields to pay for it. If sold it should bee to parish councils to be maintained as a public open space, be it a green or turned into a small lake which offers value to the community and not a handful of property developers or land speculators. This should be written into all School deeds including those that are becomming free schools and acadamies to prevent asset stripping which is something Giverments over the last 30 years have been keen on.

  17. Newsbot9

    Funny, let’s see.

    Nope, your first sentence doesn’t have a single correct reference to me. Well done though, 1%er.

  18. heryt

    you teach in university, no? so left wing, middle class academic? am I getting warm?

  19. Newsbot9

    No, you jumped straight into the fire.

    I work mostly as a contractor. I also teach, part-time, as VL on specific courses for a few universities…although the cuts mean it’s likely I’ll only be doing ~15 days teaching this academic year.

    This most certainly doesn’t make me an “academic”.

    I’m not middle-class in income, because work’s patchy (the Government’s attacked creative media viciously, orders are well down, and I’m having shitty luck with companies doing bust after doing work for them)

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