Plan for Play launched


MP Kim Leadbeater has backed the launch of A Plan for Play, a report calling for political, business and community leaders to ensure that every child in every place can play, every day.

Launching the report at the House of Commons this week, Kim Leadbeater MP said that play is so important, it needs to be “built into every aspect of children’s lives”: at home and at school, in parks and adventure playgrounds and other free spaces; in libraries and in museums.

The Children’s Alliance report makes essential reading for play advocates, linking to a wealth of recent research and resources attesting to the value of play for children and for society as a whole. It also features a case study on Bradford’s Big Swing Adventure Playground, outlining the approach to building a sustainable model for adventure play to survive and thrive.

The report notes that unlike in Wales and Scotland, play “is not acknowledged in any meaningful way by the UK government. Play is determinedly ‘outside the curriculum and there is no legal requirement to provide sufficient time, outdoor space or management knowledge to facilitate it.” It goes on to point out that “Play meets policy objectives on physical health, mental health, activity levels and resilience,” highlighting that in recent years Sport England’s annual Active Lives survey of primary age school children has consistently revealed that ‘active play’ is their most preferred activity, ahead of team sports, cycling, dance or any other classification of activity.

It outlines a series of recommendations for political and other leaders including that ring fenced government funding is made available to local authorities to ensure that every child has access to a local, safe, high-quality playground; that play is included as a Protected Characteristic within the terms of the Equalities Act to recognise its fundamental contribution to the development of human beings; and that Plans for Play in schools become part of Ofsted inspections.

Access the report here and read a Guardian article about the report here.

Play news
The Mayor of Barnet has opened a new inclusive and accessible playground at Victoria Recreation Ground in East Barnet enabling people of all ages and abilities to play together.
Play news
More than 82,000 children living in temporary accommodation in London risk losing their ability to play – blocking their development and storing up “catastrophic” problems for them in later life, leading experts have told the i newspaper.


Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.