From The Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/christopher-hope/
Michael Gove has ignored the opposition of the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel to approve sell-offs five times in the past 15 months, documents show. It has also emerged that the number of sales given the go-ahead by Mr Gove is far higher than the amount admitted by the Coalition this month.
Mr Gove apologised for publishing the wrong figures, saying he had been given incorrect information by his officials.
They show that the panel, which must by law give a recommendation on all sales before ministers make their final decision, received 35 applications to sell school playing fields between May 18, 2010 and July 22, 2012. Of these, 30 sales were approved by ministers, two were rejected, one was withdrawn and two are outstanding. The decisions were mostly taken by Lord Hill, the education minister, on behalf of Mr Gove. The documents show that Mr Gove overruled recommendations not to sell school playing fields five times between February 2011 and July this year, more than for the previous nine years.
The overruled decisions were to sell fields at Woodhouse Middle School in Staffordshire, Clarborough Primary School in Nottinghamshire, Elliott School in Wandsworth, south-west London, and Ingleton Middle School in North Yorkshire.
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