Justin Tomlinson – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Justin Tomlinson on 2014-03-18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on opening up school facilities to the local community for use outside of the school day.

Elizabeth Truss

The out-of-hours term time and holiday childcare that schools provide are vital to working parents. Many parents still find that the high cost and inflexibility of childcare is a barrier to working, or increasing their working hours. The Government wants more schools to make their facilities available to the local community. The Department for Education believes that if schools open up their facilities, it can make them a valuable resource and can strengthen links with the wider community that they serve. The Department wants to encourage more schools to offer childcare between 8am to 6pm during term time and during school holidays by removing all unnecessary red tape and increasing freedoms. For example, we are removing the need for schools to have to consult when introducing community facilities and to have regard to guidance from my Rt. hon Friend the Secretary of State for Education or local authorities and we are clarifying the rules on charging for community facilities.