“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”
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.
Other Play Strategy Publications