Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Department for Education and Employment


1.  The Committee requested a memorandum on the following point:—

    Regulation 26(1) (Savings) refers to "the requirements of paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the 1996 Regulations" (playing fields). Should not this be a reference to paragraph 3?

2.  The reference should have been to paragraph 3 and the Department is grateful to the Committee for drawing attention to this point.

3.  In the Department's view however the meaning of regulation 26(1) is still clear. Regulation 26(1) (as drafted) deals with the case where immediately before 1st February 1999 team game playing fields were provided which "satisfied the requirements of paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the 1996 Regulations by virtue of paragraph 5(2) of that Schedule". Paragraph 5 of the "1996 Regulations" (that is the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/360)) does not itself contain requirements which can be satisfied. Paragraph 3 of the 1996 Regulations however provides for minimum areas for playing fields. Paragraph 5(2) then provides that in the case of a school which enjoys the benefit of various facilities, the minimum areas specified in paragraph 3 shall be reduced "so far as is reasonable having regard to the facilities mentioned above". In the light of the fact that paragraph 5 does not contain requirements, the Department takes the view that regulation 26(1) would, as drafted, be interpreted as applying to any case where paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 2 to the 1996 Regulations applied, which accords with the policy behind the saving provision.

4.  The Department proposes to amend this provision next time the regulations are amended.

1st February 1999

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