Parliamentary working group to develop play policy proposals for next government

6 May

The All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, which, last November, called for a new national play strategy for England, underpinned by legislation, has convened a working group to develop its proposals for new government play policy. The group met at the end of April and will be researching and drafting its recommendations under the following headings (subject to change):

  1. An overview of play in the UK and comparison with other countries
  2. The roles and responsibilities of government in supporting play in England and the devolved UK .
  3. Play in early years settings, primary and secondary schools.
  4. Outdoor and indoor play: barriers and opportunities.
  5. Play training needs of the children’s workforce.
  6. Guidance about play for families.
  7. Play and the planning system.
  8. Risk and safety in play.
  9. Play, diversity and inclusion.
  10. The role of the media, advertising and the play industry in children’s play.
  11. Educational learning through play, before and during the school years; the role of technology in play.
  12. The role of playwork and staffed play provision.
  13. The health benefits of play – mental, emotional and physical; play as therapy; how play contributes to the public health agenda.
  14. The economic and social benefits of play.
  15. A government strategy for play – scope, aims and objectives.

The group aims to complete its initial research and drafting phase by 18th June, and to publish its full report later in the summer. A number of play professionals, including academics, are supporting the work of the group and would like to invite others in the field to contribute.

Short submissions under any of the above headings (please say which), containing specific policy proposals with fully referenced supporting evidence wherever possible, can be sent to on or before 30 May 2015.

Adrian Voce


9 Responses to “Parliamentary working group to develop play policy proposals for next government”

  1. janerobertstraining 6 May 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Dear Adrian,

    I would be pleased to contribute and work on an initial proposal for;

    Guidance about play for Families, although I feel this may cross over into Outdoor Play and the Health benefits of Play.

    Best Wishes,



  2. mickplay 6 May 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    This is great. But as you say we in the play/playwork world seem to be fragmenting again. Could we start thinking about how to have a “summit conference” online, in social media and in real time across what play meetings still happen to pull all this together? Whatever happens in the election and then afterwards seems like a priority to me!


    • adrianvoce 6 May 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      Thanks Mick.

      Yes, as I said in the blog yesterday, I think fragmentation has been part of the programme.

      I’d be up for what you suggest, but I think it’s for the organisations to, er, organise. The likes of you and I don’t have the capacity (or the authority) to pull everyone together.


  3. FPFC News (@FPFCNews) 22 May 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    Now where? FPfC about to commence UN report for 5 year review – A31, A12 and quite a few others, also GC17. Ideas welcome – Suggest that we need to concentrate on laws we have which are not being observed by LEAs re play and youth. Waste of time to ask for new law at this stage. save our breath to cool our porridge as the old saying goes, hold them to account at local and national level.

    Re the abolition of HRA 1998, we need to oppose, they will force it through, of course, BUT, if they incorporate text of ECHR into the Bill of Rights, as they say they will, then why not ask that they also incorporate text of UNCRC?????


  4. plexity 23 May 2015 at 12:43 am #

    “A number of play professionals, including academics, are supporting the work of the group and would like to invite others in the field to contribute.”

    Are we allowed to know who these august beings are?


    • adrianvoce 3 June 2015 at 10:38 am #

      The people I recognised at the meeting were Helen Wooley, Keith Cranwell, Mike Wragg and Neil Coleman – plus some API reps, toy industry people and early years types.



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    […] to England. The seriousness of the APPG and its aims are evident in its recent establishment of a working group on play to further research and develop these proposals. A report, endorsed, as the name suggests, by MPs […]


  2. Child’s play? Investing in the young despite austerity | Policy for Play - 26 June 2015

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