Policy in Scotland: Supporting Play

“Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes — including public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions — that directly affect people’s current lives”

Cohen

Policy development in Scotland

Play Scotland works to influence both the national and local policy environment to take full account of the importance of Article 31 for children’s well-being and development.

Since the Early Years Framework in 2008, which committed to “improving outcomes and children’s quality of life through play,” a strong policy framework that supports children’s right and need to play has developed in Scotland.

Scotland’s Play Strategy (2013) acknowledges that play contributes to flagship public policies in Scotland such as improving attainment, health and reducing inequality.

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 legislates for children’s play. It places a statutory duty on local authorities to undertake Play Sufficiency Assessments (PSAs) as part of their strategic planning and for children to be consulted on local place plans.

This complements the Scottish Government’s commitment to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law by 2021.

Play Sufficiency Duty in Planning

The Planning (Scotland) Act received royal assent in July 2019. It places a statutory duty on local authorities to undertake Play Sufficiency Assessments as part of their strategic planning and for children to be consulted on local place plans. Alongside the Scottish Government’s commitment to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law by 2021, these developments represent a game changing moment for children and young people in Scotland.

Play Scotland is working with the core group on the requirements in the Act around Play Sufficiency Assessments and Open Space Strategies and the links between them (in terms of the process and types of spaces covered), and the potential opportunity to take a holistic place-based approach.

Play Sufficiency Assessments (PSA’s) will have to be carried out by planning authorities for evidence reports. The form and content of these, who must be consulted and their publication will be outlined in secondary legislation. Good practice of how PSA’s can be carried out will be covered in the accompanying Guidance. It has been incredibly helpful to be able to draw on the fantastic progress made in Wales in assessing play sufficiency.

Work will also take place on a fourth National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy (or NPF4), which will be the principle vehicle for this new legislation.

  • Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Vision

    Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Vision

    We want Scotland to be the best place to grow up. A nation which values play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people; in their homes, nurseries, schools and communities. Children’s play is crucial to Scotland’s well-being; socially, economically and environmentally. Our people are our greatest resource and the early …
    pdf (1.04 MB)
  • Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Action Plan

    Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Action Plan

    The Action Plan supports Scotland’s first National Play Strategy by setting out what actions need to be taken in the domains of home; nursery and school; community; and positive support for play, to realise our vision for play.
    pdf (1.53 MB)
  • The Scottish Government Strategic Guidance for Community Planning Partnerships: Community Learning and Development.

    The Scottish Government Strategic Guidance for Community Planning Partnerships: Community Learning and Development.

    This guidance will help promote a more integrated approach in supporting active community participation in planning and delivery of services and to highlight that inter-disciplinary training and development should be offered that enables participants to share good practice and develop a fuller understanding of practice within CLD.
    pdf (631.89 KB)
  • Designing Streets: A Policy Statement for Scotland

    Designing Streets: A Policy Statement for Scotland

    Designing Streets is the first policy statement in Scotland for street design and marks a change in the emphasis of guidance on street design towards place-making and away from a system focused upon the dominance of motor vehicles. It has been created to support the Scottish Government’s place-making agenda and is intended to sit alongside …
    pdf (6.27 MB)
  • The Place Standard

    The Place Standard

    The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place. It allows you to think about the physical elements of a place (e.g. its buildings, spaces, and transport links) as well as the social aspects (e.g. whether people feel they have a say in decision making). The tool provides prompts for discussions, …
    pdf (676.94 KB)

Other Play Strategy Publications

  • Play at Home report, 2015

    Play at Home report, 2015

    Action 6.3 from The Play Strategy Action Plan.To investigate and review good practice in reaching all parents and carers with clear messages and guidance on cost effective resources and suggestions for play suitable for children of all ages, stages and abilities.To share knowledge of good practice amongst organisations and agencies which support families.
    pdf (810.71 KB)
  • Learning about Play report, 2015

    Learning about Play report, 2015

    On behalf of the Play Strategy Implementation Group, we examined the content of the main qualifications in Scotland, for those working in early learning and childcare, schools, out of school and holiday care services for children. We wanted to discover how much play is included from level 5 to post degree level, and to see …
    pdf (2.18 MB)
  • Play Outside Hours, 2016

    Play Outside Hours, 2016

    The Use of School Grounds for playing out of teaching hours toolkit has been designed to help head teachers, parent councils and local organisations to work together to consider making school grounds available to local children out of teaching hours. Children and young people need and are entitled to quality places and time for play …
    pdf (1.04 MB)
  • The Play Map, 2015

    The Play Map, 2015

    Action 8.2 (Play Strategy for Scotland: Action Plan)  The Play Map has been developed to support Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) build play into their strategic plans.  It will help CPPs deliver on their objectives to support the wellbeing of children, young people and their families across the communities. The Play Map aims to support CPPs …
    pdf (864.60 KB)
  • Playing with Quality and Equality, 2015

    Playing with Quality and Equality, 2015

    Action 9.6 (Play Strategy for Scotland: Action Plan) Playing with Quality and Equality, Inclusive Play Review, November 2015 A review of inclusive play in Scotland to identify context, current practices, barriers and aspirations and to build the knowledge base which will inform implementation of the Play Strategy for all children.
    pdf (132.30 KB)
  • Evidence, Outcomes and Logic Models, 2015

    Evidence, Outcomes and Logic Models, 2015

    The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence of the benefits and outcomes of play for children, and to look at how these benefits and outcomes fit into the SHANARRI wellbeing framework and the Government’s National Performance Framework more generally.
    pdf (192.50 KB)
  • Play Policy Tree Infographic, 2015

    Play Policy Tree Infographic, 2015

    Action 8.1 (Play Strategy for Scotland: Action Plan) Policy Mapping infographic, 2015
    pdf (95.35 KB)
  • The Good School Playground, Learning through Landscapes

    The Good School Playground, Learning through Landscapes

    The guide has been written to be relevant for early years, primary and secondary schools. Not all ideas will work equally well in all contexts, but many can be adapted to suit the relevant age group.
    pdf (3.39 MB)
  • The Play Ranger Toolkit, Inspiring Scotland

    The Play Ranger Toolkit, Inspiring Scotland

    A guide to setting up and running an effective Play Ranger Service in ScotlandThis Play Ranger Toolkit has been developed by, and using the experience and learning of, the Play Ranger charities supported by Go2Play – focused on growing play opportunities for children and harnessing the expertise of the sector.
    pdf (5.27 MB)

International Rights

 

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