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Research: play sufficiency in Wales


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New 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 Play Sufficiency Assessments 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.

The study follows on from two previous small-scale research projectsLeopard Skin Wellies, a Top hat and a Vacuum Cleaner Hose: An analysis of Wales’ Play Sufficiency Assessment duty (2013) and 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 (2014).

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

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