Play Strategy for Scotland - Progress Report

An interim progress report, at the end of year two.

What impact have we had?

The PSIG determined that a number of foundational pieces of work identified in the Action Plan should be prioritised and these have been successfully completed.

These reports (published and available on the Scottish Government website) are significant pieces of work in their own right, and are intended to support improvements in play by providing practical resources as well as specific findings and recommendations.

We will be sharing these reports widely to encourage discussion and given the nature of the resources and recommendations, would hope to engage a wide cross section of colleagues across a range of specialisms, not just those involved in play.

We will also be considering the recommendations carefully in the light of our current commitments and plans, to determine whether there is more we can do, or support others to do, to drive further improvements for children and young people.

Overall, we have made positive progress not only in addressing individual actions but also in making connections between the Play Strategy and other key Scottish Government policies, which can support the broader cultural change we are looking to stimulate:

  • the inclusion of play as a Key Change area for the Early Years Collaborative is an important milestone in building effective practice and planning for play into local structures and enabling us to replicate effective practice more widely;
  • we can identify over thirty local Key Tests of Change projects which feature play as an essential element, but which also support other relevant outcomes, such as enhancing attachment or achieving developmental milestones;
  • we can see in other initiatives that implementing playful approaches while not strictly 'play', complements our strategy with a focus on improved health;
  • we have seen examples of local collaborations pro-actively signalling their commitment to local culture change - and commend Aberdeen City local authority and its partners on their decision to remove all 'No Ball Games' signs by August 2016;
  • the refreshed Place Standard Tool has a clear focus on play and should enable communities to assess the sufficiency and quality of play for all children and young people, against other relevant aspects (access to green space, transport, design, housing, etc.), and
  • the Learning About Play report has already informed and influenced a number of other reviews, such as Professor Siraj's Workforce Review (2015) earlier this year, and the on-going SkillsActive review of the National Occupational Standards for Playwork.


Email: Deborah Gallagher

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