Play Sufficiency research

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Play Wales has commissioned and published a range of research studies since the commencement of the Play Sufficiency Duty. 

Making it possible to do Play Sufficiency

July 2020

Research exploring the conditions that support local authorities to secure sufficient opportunities for children to play.

Making it possible to do Play Sufficiency: Exploring the conditions that support local authorities to secure sufficient opportunities for children in Wales to play presents a summary of findings from a research study carried out by Dr Wendy Russell (Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork), Mike Barclay and Ben Tawil (Ludicology), and Charlotte Derry (Playful Places). It also includes 26 report cards of examples of actions taken to support children’s play. Each example aims to show the unique contexts, processes and people involved, but may offer adaptable ideas for those working to support children’s play.

This research study builds on three previous studies that saw the Play Sufficiency Duty as a matter of paying attention to the conditions that support children’s ability to find time and space to play. The current study took this principle back a level, focusing on the conditions that support local authorities to take actions in support of children’s opportunities to play.

The research findings encouragingly point to five headline conditions that can support local authorities to secure sufficient play opportunities for children:

  • policy alignment with, and promotion nationally and locally of, the Play Sufficiency Duty
  • the right people in the right place at the right time with sufficient authority, capacity, capability and consistency
  • a consistent and dedicated source of funding for Play Sufficiency
  • existing and new information, including research and ways to share information
  • openness to possibilities (organisational cultures that allow for being able to respond to opportunities that arise).`
     

The report makes 13 recommendations for actions that can support local authorities to deliver on the Play Sufficiency Duty.

To request a copy of the full research report please email us.

Download | view online

What children say about play in Wales 

November 2019

Children and teenagers tell us about what’s good about the play opportunities in their local area and how satisfied they are about when, how and where they can play.

The ‘I learn new things and climb trees’ – What children say about play in Wales report shows that overall, the picture presented by children across Wales is that when they are allowed out, and able to play in the places they want to, most children are happy with the choice of good quality spaces, and overall are satisfied with their play opportunities. Nonetheless, a number of factors would seem to be important in restricting children’s rights and may be causes of harm.

Data for the research comes from surveys completed by nearly 6,000 children across thirteen local authority areas in Wales as part of their Play Sufficiency Assessments in 2019.

This report was written by Dr David Dallimore of Bangor University for Play Wales. Data was collated with the assistance of Michael Welsby from the Policy Evidence & Analysis Team, Office for National Statistics.

Download | view online

Children’s Right to Play in Wales: Six years of stories and change since the commencement of the Welsh Play Sufficiency Duty

October 2019

Research published by Play Wales explores the perceptions of what has changed for children’s play opportunities since the Welsh Government’s Play Sufficiency Duty was commenced in 2012.

Children’s Right to Play in Wales: Six years of stories and change since the commencement of the Welsh Play Sufficiency Duty presents the findings of a small-scale research project carried out by Dr Wendy Russell (Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire), Mike Barclay and Ben Tawil (Ludicology), and Charlotte Derry (Playful Places).

The research, undertaken between January and March 2019, included three parts:

  • documentary analysis of 2013 and 2016 Play Sufficiency Assessments, policy documents, research, and additional documentation provided by local authorities, with a brief analysis of some 2019 PSAs possible within the timescale
  • interviews with 18 Play Sufficiency lead officers, Play Wales staff, Welsh Government officials and a representative from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner
  • work with three case study local authorities, including interviews and focus groups with professionals, and using creative methods to talk to children and families.

 

The Duty has been introduced at one of the most challenging times in the history of devolved and local governments and public services, and yet, according to the research, much has been achieved in terms of partnership working, raising awareness of children’s right to play, and reconfiguring services and spaces to create opportunities for playing.

To request a copy of the full research report please email us.

Download summary report | view online

Towards Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities 

June 2014 

Play Wales has worked with the University of Gloucestershire to produce a report that presents the findings of a small-scale research project looking back over the past year and forward to the commencement of the second part of the Play Sufficiency Duty, to secure sufficient play opportunities for children.

The purpose of the Towards Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities ... research was to:

  • Look at what has happened over the last 12 months after submission of Play Sufficiency Assessments
  • Look at how selected local authorities have prepared themselves to respond to the forthcoming commencement of securing sufficiency of play opportunities.
     

Data from this report were gathered through documentation, attendance at and notes from regional meetings to consult on the draft Statutory Guidance for the second part of the Duty, and semi-structured interviews with national and local stakeholders.

This research project was funded by the Welsh Government.

Download Towards Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities

Towards Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities: A short study into the preparation undertaken for the commencement of the second part of the Welsh Government’s Play Sufficiency Duty to secure sufficient play opportunities, written by researchers Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell is a follow up to an earlier report (Leopard Skin Wellies … ) that explored how local authorities responded to the introduction of the duty to assess sufficient play opportunities for children.

Leopard Skin Wellies, a Top Hat and a Vacuum Cleaner Hose: An analysis of Wales’ Play Sufficiency Assessment duty

May 2013

This report presents the findings from a small-scale research project exploring how local authorities respond to the introduction of the duty to assess sufficiency of play opportunities for children, the first part of the Play Sufficiency Duty as set out in the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010, Section 11.

It draws on data from 20 local authority Play Sufficiency Assessments (PSAs) and associated documentation, interviews and notes from stakeholder meetings in three local authority case studies, notes from attending regional meetings to share experiences across local authorities, interviews with a Welsh Government officer and key officers from national partners (Play Wales and Welsh Local Government Association) and an online survey for key stakeholders involved in the PSA process.

The research was carried out by Stuart Lester and Wendy Russell of the University of Gloucestershire with support from Dr Owain Jones and Nick Lewis of the Countryside and Communities Research Institute (CCRI) based at the University of Gloucestershire.

The study is jointly funded by the University of Gloucestershire and Play Wales.

Download the Executive Summary

Electronic copies of the research report are available upon request – please email or call 029 2048 6050

 

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