Playwork group challenges Skillsactive standards’ review

7 Oct
National Occupational Standards Review ‘a breach of trust’, alleges scrutiny group
Photo: M. Conway

Will the current standards review turn playwork practice on its head?           Photo: M. Conway

The Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group (PPSG), convened and hosted by the national body, Play Wales, is alleging a ‘breach of trust between SkillsActive and the playwork profession’ if the sector skills council goes ahead with its proposed revision of the National Occupational Standards for Playwork.

In a statement on the Play Wales website, the group calls for the new ‘Values, Behaviours and Skills’ statements proposed for the new standards to be abandoned, as they contradict, in places, the established Play Work Principles, which, says the group, ‘describe what is unique about playwork… have been universally adopted and … are referenced in job descriptions, induction programmes and organisational policies and procedures’

Play Wales is urging anyone with an interest, and who shares the concerns raised by the Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group, to respond to SkillsActive’s consultation by Thursday 8 October 2015.

The Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group statement can be read here

More information about the Skillsactive consultation can be read here

4 Responses to “Playwork group challenges Skillsactive standards’ review”

  1. Danielle Yapp 8 October 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    I currently work as a Playworker and I work according to the current Playwork Principles. Without these Playwork Principles children would have no freedom of choice when it comes to controlling their environment and how they choose to play. Children learn so much more through play then they do the in current education system where there is no freedom of choice and room for change. According to the new National Occupational Standards children must be tracked, assessed and recorded in line with the current education system – it’s a compete contradiction to believe that children will behave the same in a classroom as they do in the playground. As adults we work and play in two completely different environments. We don’t play at work otherwise we’d get the sack and children will not play freely if they feel that they have to meet a certain agenda. These changes being made to the Play Work Priciples should be illegal as there has been no consultation from any of the playworkers I know in the sector and I was only told today, the day of the deadline. This all seems a bit like cloak and dagger tactics and that the less people in the Play field that know about Skills active proposed changes the less likely it will be challenged. This is completely unfair and unjust to think that Skills Active can uproot the all of the play principles that Play Wales built years ago and now they are more than relevant today, especially in societies such as ours where children are constantly losing their freedoms and spaces to play and more health and safety than risk benefit. If children aren’t able to take a risk when they are young then they will never as an adult. In Play Work we will my force a child to undertake Science Maths and English unless they choose to, this cannot be said for schools in our education system. The Play Work Principles must be kept and updated through a wide consultation with all of the play sector and Play Wales.


    • adrianvoce 8 October 2015 at 4:37 pm #

      Very well said Danielle. I think many, if not all playworkers will share your concerns. As I understand it SkillsActive have had to comply with some new rules about the standards that are imposed from on high and have actually tried very hard to have the Playwork Principles retained. However, simply writing them out – or replacing them without the same kind of consultation that informed their adoption in the first place – is not good enough and some of us have written to SkillsActive to request that the process be paused while they open up the dialogue and commit to finding a resolution that the playwork practitioner field is happy with.


    • plexity 8 October 2015 at 8:26 pm #

      Well said!


  2. plexity 8 October 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    Well said Danielle!


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