Play Wales is the national charity for children's play. We work to raise awareness of children and young people's need and right to play and to promote good practice at every level of decision making and in every place where children might play.
Use of school grounds for playing out of teaching hours toolkit The toolkit is designed to help head teachers, governors and local organisations to work together to consider making school grounds available to local children out of teaching hours. It is designed to provide clear and concise information for school communities and their partners to assess the feasibility of making school grounds available for children’s play out of teaching hours. The toolkit considers a range of issues that need to be taken into account. It includes quotes from head teachers and case studies that demonstrate a range of models.
Time to consider the use of the toolkit. Play Wales can offer e-mail and phone advice and possibly signpost to local play teams/play association, which may be able to offer support.
Existing school facilities, including grounds, offer significant opportunities to meet many of the social and recreational needs for the community. Unfortunately, many communities continue to use these resources at a rate that is about equal to 30 percent of the available daylight hours. In many areas, school grounds offer neutral space in the local community. Having access to such a space can enhance the opportunities that all parts of the community around the school have for outdoor recreation and play.
This project has benefits for a range of participants.
1. Improved social and community involvement School managers, staff and their governing bodies will be better equipped to provide improved access to play for children living in their communities. Local organisations (such as Tenants groups, local play organisations, PTA’s) will be equipped to enter joint partnership arrangements with schools to secure improved access to play for children living in their communities.
2. The project will give people a voice to be heard We speak to children wherever we are and their message is succinct and sustained. They want to play, and they and their parents / carers recognise that restrictions that are imposed by the wider actions of adult society, on their time and space militate against their play; that they have suffered an historical loss of freedom When asked, children and young people tell us that they wish to play more outside, with their friends. Play Wales has documented an increase in queries from parents and other community members seeking support to secure better play spaces for their children. Children will have access in their own communities to places and spaces to play and gather with their friends. Parents and community members are repetitively asking for and looking low cost options to support their children to access play opportunities. This project will provide parents with the information and confidence to support their children to play in their communities. Parents and other community members will become advocates for play, playing and childhood.
3. Improved life choices and chances Playing contributes to children’s health and wellbeing. Having welcoming places to play and gather within communities improves children’s sense of community and belonging.
Marianne Mannello Assistant Director: Policy, Support and Advocacy Play Wales Marianne@playwales.org.uk 029 2048 6050