Find out when you’ll need to involve the Secretary of State for Education and which forms you’ll need to submit.

Changes to the guidance and forms

There have been changes to the way applications and notifications for land transactions are made, which include:

  • publishing revised guidance to make it easier to find information and understand what other information you’ll need to submit with your application
  • using revised forms

This revised guidance replaces previous guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE) or Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA), including protection of school playing fields and public land, schedule 1 disposing of school land and schedule 22, which have now been cancelled and withdrawn.


You can take a 2-minute survey and provide DfE with feedback on the revised guidance and application forms. DfE will consider your feedback when making decisions about future updates to the guidance and application forms.

Take the survey.

What you’ll need to do

This section explains which parts of the guidance you’ll need to read and how to make an application or notify the Secretary of State.

For some land transactions you’ll need to obtain the Secretary of State’s prior consent or give notice to the Secretary of State. In other cases, a General Consent Order (GCO) may apply to the proposed land transaction.

School land transactions: guidance

PDF, 522KB, 74 pages

  1. Use part 1 to find out whether you need to involve the Secretary of State.

  2. Use part 2 to find out about the assessment criteria used for different types of land transactions and the specific information and evidence required to be provided with your application.

  3. Use part 3 to find out about playing field land, including what is classified as playing field land, how to provide your playing field statistics and information about the role of the playing field panel.

  4. Use part 4 to read about which land transactions are covered by the General Consent Orders (GCOs).

  5. Use part 5 to find out how to submit your application for consent or notify the Secretary of State.

  6. Use part 6 to read about academy conversions, statutory transfers for voluntary and foundation schools, transfers of land from one academy trust to another academy trust and orders made under section 554 of the Education Act 1996 – see the guidance on section 554 orders.

Application forms for school land transactions

General Consent Orders (GCO)

The Secretary of State has agreed that some types of disposal fall within the typewhere he would routinely expect to grant consent. Accordingly, he has agreed GeneralConsent Orders (GCOs) which provide a blanket consent in these cases.


Email [email protected] if you have any questions about:

  • land transactions
  • the main guidance
  • the forms
  • GCOs

Published 10 February 2021 Contents