Playing with Quality and Equality: a review of inclusive play in Scotland

Date: 18th May 2016
Category: Recreation, play and cultural activities

The 'Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Action Plan' sets out a vision of Scotland as 'a nation which values play as a life-enhancing daily experience for all our children and young people'.

The Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Vision (Scottish Government, 2013) draws particular attention to the play rights of disabled children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The principle of inclusion runs as a thread throughout the Strategy and its accompanying Action Plan. The National Play Strategy Group highlight however that it is well documented that there are children and young people, individually or in groups, who are excluded or hindered from participating fully in play due to physical, social or cultural circumstances and it is with these children and young people in mind that the Inclusive Play Review was undertaken. The review considered context, current practices, barriers and aspirations to build the knowledge base which will, in turn, inform implementation of the Strategy for all children.

Children and young people, parents, carers and professionals from across Scotland told the National Play Strategy Group that ensuring both quality and equality of everyday play experiences matters to them.

They also highlighted that children need sufficient time to play while adults need sufficient time, skills and confidence to put good practice into action. Children need great spaces to play in which also help adults to facilitate play opportunities inclusively.

The review provides a number of practical recommendations for everyone to consider including a call for more coordination across services and geographic areas to achieve inclusive play opportunities.