The Welsh Government has published the Ministerial Review of Play steering group report. The publication follows an in-depth and collaborative review of the Welsh Government’s work with respect to play policy. The review took place between 2019 and 2022.
The steering group report presents 15 key recommendations in relation to six themes identified in the review. It emphasises that there is an urgent need to implement these recommendations to improve opportunities for children’s play in Wales.
The report is informed by a background paper which provides key literature, reports on the impact of COVID-19 and the rationale for the recommendations.
Led by the Welsh Government’s Play Policy Team, the cross-professional steering group was made up of play and playwork specialists, with policy officials from across the Welsh Government and independent academic advisors to support the review.
Welcoming the report in a written statement, the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan MS said:
‘The aim of the review is to take stock of our vision and principles for play and to consider how best to drive forward play policy in the context of changes since the last review in 2002 …
‘The recommendations of the Review are wide ranging, and some will require government cross policy working and continued collaboration with the sector. Therefore, we will undertake further exploration of the recommendations and suggested milestones, which will help to inform the actions required to address them. It is my intention to formally respond to the Steering Group’s report with a detailed action plan later this year.’
The Welsh Government tasked Play Wales with coordinating the writing of the report on behalf of the steering group. Play Wales’ Director, Mike Greenaway said:
‘We welcomed the decision of the deputy minister to commission the ministerial review in 2019. It demonstrates the continued value and importance the Welsh Government places on opportunities to play in children’s lives and a recognition of its role in contributing to leading change.
‘This review sets out how we can strategically improve opportunities for play with recommendations for the next steps on the journey to making us a truly play friendly country. We look forward in anticipation to the deputy minister’s response.’