215 play­ing fields sold off in less than a decade

Daily Mail - - Brexit In Crisis -

MORE than 200 school play­ing fields have been sold off in the past nine years, re­search has found.

The Gov­ern­ment faced a back­lash yes­ter­day as cam­paign­ers warned a lack of out­door space could ham­per pupils’ men­tal health as well as their fit­ness.

Re­search by the GMB union sug­gests that since May 2010, 215 school play­ing fields have been sold across Eng­land. Rea­sons in­clude school clo­sures or merg­ers, drainage prob­lems, and mak­ing way for af­ford­able hous­ing – but head­teach­ers have also ad­mit­ted schools face pres­sure to raise cash after fund­ing cuts.

The fig­ures come amid grow­ing con­cerns about child­hood obe­sity. Ni­cola But­ler, chair­man of Play Eng­land, said: ‘Lead­er­ship is needed to en­sure that chil­dren are able to play ev­ery day.’

A De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion spokesman said the fig­ures rep­re­sented ‘only a small pro­por­tion of the thou­sands of schools in Eng­land’.

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