A Manifesto for Play: Policy Proposals for Children’s Play in England

Play England, the Playwork Foundation and International Play Association England are delighted to have joined forces to publish a Manifesto for Play, ahead of any upcoming General Election.

The Manifesto, based on a consultation with children’s professionals, calls on Britain’s political parties to include Leadership, Legislation and Investment in children’s play in their election manifestos to transform the health, happiness and well-being of children in England.

Writing to Members of Parliament

We are asking all members and supporters to write to their Member of Parliament asking MPs to support the Manifesto for Play.

Click here for advice and information on writing to MPs.

The Manifesto for Play calls for 4 pledges for children that Play England wants to see the political parties include in their election manifestos:

  1. Leadership – create a Cabinet minister for children with responsibility for play
  2. Legislation – make planning for play a statutory duty
  3. Investment – more and better play opportunities, spaces and services for children including play in in parks and public spaces, playgrounds, housing, play streets, after school and holiday play schemes, adventure playgrounds and schools
  4. Delivering for play – investment in quality support and training for professionals.

Read the Manifesto here.

Nicola Butler, Chair of Play England said:

“It’s time to start taking play seriously. Too many children and young people in England are unable to enjoy a wide range of play opportunities and are losing out on the benefits of play.

“Children tell us that play makes them happy and is an important part of their daily lives.  They want more and better opportunities to play.  That’s why we’ve joined forces with the Playwork Foundation and the International Play Association for England to launch this manifesto.”

Karen Benjamin, Chair of the Playwork Foundation said:

“Playworkers support children’s play through a specific approach and understanding, based on strong evidence and research, of the importance of time and spaces for play.

“It is vitally important that this profession is acknowledged and valued, and that spaces for children to play freely are protected for the benefit and enjoyment of all children.”

Meynell Walter, Chair of the International Play Association [England] said:

“Children have an innate need to play, recognised by the right to play being enshrined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. IPA England dedicates its work to promoting this, and we call upon Government and public bodies to adopt and action the policy proposals in this manifesto. Leadership at all levels and associated funding is essential NOW to support opportunities for their play.”

Play England is a national charity that campaigns for better play opportunities for children in England.  Play England organises National Play Day in partnership with Playboard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland and Play Wales; and publishes guidance on Designing for Play and Managing Risk in Play Provision.

The Playwork Foundation promotes the value of playwork, supports playworkers and advocates for children’s play.  It makes the case for playwork services, helps to develop the playwork approach and provides a representative platform for playwork practitioners.

IPA England is a registered charity, a branch of the International Play Association. IPA’s purpose is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right, upholding the right of all children and young people to the opportunity, time and space to play in their own way.

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