Policies and Play

Play England commissioned spear to conduct a study to assess the impact of national policies and legislation on young people’s opportunities for play and informal recreation.

A review of national policies and legislation showed that recreational activities for young people regularly feature – but play is not always mentioned. This was seen to be true even when policy documents were uniquely about children’s free-time activities.

Key Recommendations:

  • Consistent constructions of play need to be explicit in all national policy documentation and should be supported by strong implementation and monitoring mechanisms.
  • A clear distinction needs to be made between the purpose of childcare and the purpose of play provision, in each case supported by the appropriately qualified staff.
  • Further research is needed into how the Children's Fund has impacted on the play opportunities for children aged 8 to 13 years old (an age group often not referred to in policy documentation).
  • Evaluation of the impact of the Big Lottery Fund's Children's Play initiative, to see if funding has increased and improved access to good-quality play opportunities for children and young people.

Date: 2008

Client: Play England 

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about spear’s work, or to discuss a commission or internship opportunity, please contact:

Karley Hubbard
Research Development Officer
T: 01227 923003
E: karley.hubbard@canterbury.ac.uk


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Last edited: 17/04/2018 15:19:00