Archive Events

Dec 01 2011 | 10:00
Dec 01 2011 | 14:15

Community use of school sports facilities

Peninsula Sports Centre, Holbrook High School, IP9 2QX


Education sites hold a valuable supply of sports facilities, some of which are utilised for developing and delivering community sport. Active Places tells us that 76% of sports halls and 73% of artificial turf pitches in England are on education sites. Some of the asset base is open and well-used whilst others remain closed to community access.

Education-based sports facilities could, if “unlocked” help grow club and community sports participation, improve satisfaction in sporting experiences and provide sustainable delivery models.  However it is recognised that there are challenges. The Academies Bill could mean significant numbers of schools opting out of local authority control and a much-reduced role for local councils in education.  There are opportunities however for schools to play a key role at the heart of the community.

Through a series of presentations from keynote speakers, and learning from the experiences of two case studies from this event aimed to provide delegates with:

  • an understanding and opportunity to debate some of the new and emerging issues and considerations around the agenda of community access to school facilities from different perspectives;
  • an opportunity to consider different models for improving access to school sites by the community;
  • some ‘tools in the box’ to support advocacy with schools around community access and ideas around business planning, management and operational delivery.


Introduction - Richard Hunt, Chair of cCLOA gave an introduction into the importance of community use facilities and an overview of the challenges and opportunities for community sport and for schools.

Key Issues & Considerations - Ed Sandham, Local Government Relationship Manager, Sport England & Jonathan Bruck, Head of Education Capital, Sport England provided a more indepth look at key issues: school status, community use myths, core principles, developing partnerships, management and delivery options and legal and governance.

Developing Effective & Sustainable Community Use Sports Provision - Colin Grogan, Sport Health & Inclusion Development Manager, Suffolk County Council and Duncan Wood-Allum, Director, SLC then presented the outcomes of a review of community use provision across 12 Suffolk schools in the South West Ipswich and South Suffolk (SWISS) Partnership.  The process has also resulted in the development of an approach to achieving more sustainable operations and implementing improvements through a Community Use Support Framework. 

Impington Sports Centre - Ian Hill, Sports Centre Manager, Impington College offered reflections on the progress made to ensure improved facilities and increased public access.

Delegates attended one of the following workshops:

  1. Management & operation (income and financial management, business planning and operational procedures) 
  2. Delivery options (management and delivery options – advantages and disadvantages)
  3. Maximising community sport benefit through effective partnership working (key partners, role of the local authority and wider sports infrastructure, creating a ‘win-win’ scenario)

You can download a summary of the event with feedback from the workshops here......

Supporting Resources - Sport England also signposted delegates to other information available.