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Review: supporting the case for better opportunities to play in schools

25-10-2021

Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) has published a new literature review that supports the case for better opportunities to play in primary schools in the UK.

The Case for Play in Schools: A Review of the Literature provides decision-makers with the evidence they need to improve the policy, strategic planning and funding support for play.

The review highlights the concerns that schools and children have about playtimes, such as conflict on the school playground and poor outdoor spaces. It shows that opportunities to play have diminished both at home and in schools.

The review also offers recommendations for schools to provide better opportunities to play, including:

  • Developing a strategic approach to improving the quality and diversity of children’s opportunities to play
  • Focusing on using all available space all year and supporting different forms of play
  • Training and mentoring supervising staff to support play.


The review is written by researchers, Ana Ardelean and Kate Smith from OPAL and Wendy Russell from the University of Gloucestershire. It is sponsored by Sport England.

More information