Ian Austin – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Ian Austin on 2016-05-18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications she has received from academy trusts wishing to use land for purposes other than education in each year since 2011.

Edward Timpson

The data is not held in the format requested. Any academy wishing to dispose or permanently change the use of its land must obtain the Secretary of State’s consent. However, whilst continuing to hold their land for educational purposes in accordance with their charitable status, academies may allow others to make occasional or limited use of their land, for example, by using this flexibility to play an important role in supporting their local communities.

Only a minority of academies hold the freehold to their sites; the majority lease the land from local authorities and only the freeholder authority would have the power to request the Secretary of State’s consent to either dispose of or permanently change the use of land. The local authority, as the land owner, would also need to seek consent from the Secretary of State should the land be appropriated for other non-educational purposes.