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Powys' Play Sufficiency Assessment Executive Summary 2019

Each Local Authority in Wales is required to undertake a Play Sufficiency Assessment (PSA) every three years and produce an annual action plan. They must demonstrate that they have taken into account and assessed the matters set out in the PSA (Wales) Regulations 2012 and Statutory guidance.

 

"Play encompasses children's behaviour which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. It is performed for no external goal or reward, and is a fundamental and integral part of healthy development - not only for individual children, but also for the society in which they live". 

Welsh Government "Creating a Play Friendly Wales" 2012

 

"The right to play is a child's first claim on the community. Play is natures training for life. No community can infringe that right without doing deep and enduring harm to the minds and bodies of its citizens"

David Lloyd George (1925)

 

Play Wales states that playing is one of the easiest and most natural ways that children of any age can engage in necessary levels of physical activity. The Welsh Government's Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales consultation, lists play as a main influencer on children's healthy weight behaviours. The National Assembly for Wales' paper 'Physical Activity of Children and Young People' (March 2019) sees the development of the forthcoming new curriculum as an opportunity to increase physical activity within schools, amongst other benefits. The paper recommends that all schools should provide wider access to their facilities to local communities, which will encourage more physical activity and an accessible space outside of the school day.

As part of the whole commissioning cycle this Play Sufficiency Assessment has been an exercise to reviewing the work and activities over the past 3 years since the previous assessment was completed in 2016. Conducting the assessment has shown that we have a large number of partners and stakeholders in Powys that are committed to supporting children, young people and their families to access a wide range of play opportunities.

How did we do it?

  • Engagement with Schools
  • Feedback from children and young people at play events
  • Online and paper surveys to children, young people, parents, play work, youth work, leisure/recreation & childcare settings, professionals, town & community councils
  • Engagement of parents/carers, professionals and marginalised groups
  • Semi-structured meetings and discussions with lead professionals associated with policy areas identified in play sufficiency guidance
  • Mapping and Data Collection - data gathered from existing sources including; Children's Commissioning, JSNA, Education, Planning, Family Information Service, Leisure and Recreation departments
  • The Youth Forum has been involved and the views of members sought on the state of Play in Powys
  • Feedback from Secondary and Primary School 'Have Your Say Days', which were held in the North, Mid and South of the County
  • Responses from a recent Careers Fair, where over 3000 young people attended has contributed to the assessment.
  • Discussions with the Brecon Gypsy and Traveller community and their views on local Play opportunities and provision

What people said

What's goodWhat's not so good
Walking routesOld play equipment
Feeling safeLack of space for older young people
Green SpacesCars
Fresh airLimited pavements
TreesLack of sites for bikes and skateboards
Safe to ride bikesLitter
AnimalsPublic Transport
ParksCost of transport
Surrounding communityDog fouling
Space for footballRurality

 

Overall how good are your opportunities for playing and hanging out?

 20162019
It's great and couldn't be made much better3%57%
It's good but could be made even better28%23%
It's not good and needs to be made better61%9%
It's rubbish and needs to be made much better8%11%

 

Do you have enough time for playing or hanging out with friends?

 20162019
No, I need a lot more12%8%
No, I would like to have a bit more37%21%
Yes, just about enough11%35%
Yes, I have loads40%36%

 

Stakeholders involved in completing the 2019 PSA -

Action for ChildrenLibrary Services
Active Travel ServicesLocal Service Board
Adults Commissioning ServiceOutdoor Recreation Team
Business IntelligencePAVO
Childcare Business SupportPlanning Services  
Childcare Sufficiency Officer Play Networks
Children's Commissioning TeamPowys Dance
Children's ServicesPowys Youth Forum
Communications & Engagement OfficerPublic Health
Corporate PropertySchools Service
CouncillorsSupporting People 
Create PlaySustainable Futures Officer
Credu Young Carers Team Around the Family
Disability Sport Development Officer Town & Community Councils
EducationTraffic & Road Safety
Family Information ServiceTraining Department
Flying StartTransport Services
Freedom LeisureGypsy, Roma and Travellers
Healthy Schools/ Healthy Pre schoolsAdvice & Advocacy Service
Highways ServicesWeb Applications Team
Honey Pot Children's CharityWelsh Language Officer
Housing ServicesYouth Participation/Engagement Officer
Integrated Children's Disability ServiceYouth Services

 

How we will develop and deliver the Action Plan

Regular engagement and communication with partners and organisations will continue as an effective mechanism to promote, enable (where possible) and coordinate best practice for play across the county to monitor any progress, developments or changes. This will depend on a minimum level of resource needed to make this happen. 

In addition, the positive response received from stakeholders as a result of undertaking the PSA, has helped to identify a wider range of partners who are interested in becoming more involved with the process.  Links with Transformational and Strategic Boards and Partnerships will continue to develop enabling those working closely with children and young people to have a mechanism whereby they can recognise and support positive play attitudes, behaviours and developments from an early planning and preventative stage.

However, the uncertainty of future funding to support an infrastructure and delivery may mean that there are fewer resources to raise the standards in play work to really make the most of children's playful behaviour.

 

What we are going to do?

The intention is that the identified actions from the Sufficiency Assessment will be discussed with key individuals, services and organisations to ensure progression on a multi-agency basis. Embedding the actions within agencies' planning will be essential to achieve the outcomes required.

 

Who's going to lead it?

Lead Member - Portfolio for Young People & Culture

Lead Director for Economy and Environment

 

Play Monitoring Group

  • Service Strategy & Development Manager, Leisure & Recreation
  • Children's Strategic Commissioning Manager
  • Children's Commissioning and Project Officer 
  • Local Authority Housing Service Manager

 

Key areas of improvement during 2016-2019 (since the last assessment)

The following criteria moved from Red to Amber RAG status during the period:

Matter D: Supervised provision

The Local Authority provides council premises and space free of charge to organisations which provide free (at the point of access) play provision for children - LA provided activities make use of current premises. Third Sector organisations build in venue costs for any grant funding applications to enable families to access FOC provision. SHEP project in 4 schools across Powys. AFC sessions in Flying Start areas for Babies provide rooms FOC under commissioning agreement.

Matter E: Charges for play provision

The Local Authority provides subsided transport for children travelling to play opportunities - There are a range of subsidised bus services that pass play areas. Children and young people travelling to sport or physical activity competitions or events receive subsidised transport funded by the LA who ask for a parent/carer contribution.

Matter G: Securing and developing the play workforce

The Local Authority has a staff development budget ring fenced for play, including playwork - Funding for training under the Integrated Workforce Development is prioritised to meet CCSIW national minimum standards. The OOSCG has been profiled to allow for playwork training to be delivered.

The following criteria moved from Amber to Green RAG status during the period:

Matter B: Providing for Diverse Needs

The requirements of young carers are understood and provided for - Activities aimed at Young Carers are provided via Credu. All other play provision is offered to all as inclusive practice.

Matter C: Space available for children to play: Open Spaces and Outdoor unstaffed designated play spaces

The Local Authority has introduced smoke-free playgrounds - C&ODR has installed 'No Smoking' Signage at a majority of fixed play areas throughout Powys including both PCC & Town & Community owned sites. All LA and school playgrounds are Smoke free. The Local Authority has removed 'no ball games' signs to encourage more children playing in the community - Corporate property has removed all signs unless there are known issues meaning signs have to be enforced. The Local Authority includes a recognition of the importance of playing fields to children's play when any disposal decisions are made - Requirement for new developers to undertake Open Space Assessments, prior to submitting planning applications, particularly where disposal concerns open space. All C&ODR managed playing fields are regularly inspected and assessed.

Matter D: Supervised provision

The Local Authority keeps an up to date record of all supervised play provision as described in the Statutory Guidance - Supervised play provision information is provided via the Family Information Service (FIS) as the central point for enquiries relating to childcare or play. The Leisure & Recreation service pages also contain further detail about the Council's supervised provision. In addition, InfoEngine and Dewis provide an online Database organisation can use to register their provision.

Staffed play provision that the Local Authority's partners provide meets the regulatory requirements and National Minimum Standards - Registered holiday schemes would be compliant with CSSIW standards. Play workers work to the CSSIW standards and have appropriate risk assessments and statutory policies in place. Staffed play provision across the Local Authority works to a recognised quality assurance programme - The Childcare Business Support Service provides quality assurance for settings and support for them to reach minimum national standards.

Third sector settings can make use of PQASSO and other quality assurance programmes such as Mudiads' Rhagol and Wales PPA.

Matter E: Charges for play provision

The Local Authority records the availability of no cost provision and the Local Authority records  the provision of no cost / low cost premises used for play provision - Through FIS, DEWIS and InfoEngine.

Matter F: Access to space/provision

The Local Authority publicises information and support for parents to help them encourage their children to play - Through FIS, Flying Start, PAVO, Give it time Campaign, Incredible Years, SHEP, Freedom Leisure and Health colleagues.

Matter G: Securing and developing the play workforce

The Local Authority supports all of the workforce to achieve the qualification level required by the Welsh Government's National Minimum Standards - Links are made with the childcare strategy and integrated workforce developments. OOSCG grant has supported the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork from Early Years in the last three years. Training awareness sessions are available for professionals and decision makers whose work impacts on children's opportunities to play - This has been part of the CPD available - including 2 Powys Conferences, playwork workshops, visits to other play spaces, funded places to Play Wales Conference.

Matter H: Community engagement and participation.

The Local Authority promotes community engagement - The National Participation Standards are adopted and used by the Local Authority when consulting in respect of services. Third sector organisations are supported and encouraged to undertake Young People's Participation Standards. Plus, community based organisations work to provide play opportunities within communities.

Matter I: Play within all relevant policy and implementation agendas

Schools ensure that children are provided with a rich play environment for breaks during the school day - Healthy Schools Initiative means schools have used elements of play to help increase levels of physical activity and provide a variety of activities at play times. Anti-bullying programme KIVA supports children to deal with conflict. IY programmes in schools provide a culture of positive behaviour.

There are a number of criteria within the Toolkit that was recorded as RED in 2016 and remain RED in 2019. These are:

Matter F: Access to space/provision

The Local Authority considers children's needs to access play opportunities when making decisions about public transport planning and expenditure

Matter I: Play within all relevant policy and implementation agendas

The local Transport Plan identifies ways of assessing and addressing the needs of all groups including those which are often marginalised.

The Local Authority offers the provision of insurance through the Local Authority scheme to all third sector play providers and community councils.

Criteria within the Toolkit which have seen a change in RAG status from Green to Amber or Amber to Red;

Matter C: Space available for children to play: Open Spaces and Outdoor unstaffed designated play spaces

Brownfield sites owned by the Local Authority are assessed for the potential for the site to be reclaimed to provide for children's play.

Matter D: Supervised provision

The Local Authority Youth Service provides for children's opportunities for leisure and association.

Matter F: Access to space/provision

The Local Authority uses road safety grants and/or other funding to support delivery of cycling training for children to national standards.

Matter G: Securing and developing the play workforce

There is a comprehensive range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities available for playworkers in the area.

 

Way forward

The Powys Action Plan has identified the priority themes for the next three years and will be separated into annual plans. This has been informed using feedback from services and partners who have contributed to the Assessment. We have used the shortfalls highlighted to identify specific areas for development and further work.

Whilst completing the assessment, we noticed a number of recurring themes, such as the need for focus groups and consultation events - especially with minority groups, the development of joint working, objectives and outcomes, need for collaboration between partners, engaging with communities to value and invest in our children and young people and the need for the development of a range of marketing, promotional and publicity materials to raise the profile of play.

The Action Plan has been discussed and agreed with the Lead Member, Service & Strategy Development Manager for Housing & Community Development and the Acting Partnership Manager for Children's Commissioning and Commissioning and Project Officer.

The Action Plan will be reviewed annually and disseminated to partners through a number of channels, including bi-annual Play Partnership meetings. Recently, there has been considerable change and reorganisation within the local authority in terms of structures, services and personnel, which in fact has invoked an increased awareness and acknowledgement of the play agenda which will in turn enable the profile of play to be raised throughout Powys in order to deliver Sufficient Play Opportunities for future generations and the  overall  health and well-being of communities.

Action / Priorities

When

Targets

Links to Matters

Resources, including costs

Funding source

(new or existing funding streams)

Development of the PCC website

Year 1

Update site to include interactive map

Signposting mechanism to Dewis & Info Engine for providers

To inform, promote and raise the profile

Matter F

£2,321.95

WG - Play opportunities funding as part of PSA

Further development of Active Travel towns to increase walking and cycling

Each year

Towns / areas to be agreed using data available and needs identified

Matters E, F & I 

Officer time, development of volunteers.

Working with T&CCs

Costs not yet known

Active Travel funding but additional funding a resources may be necessary

Promotion of information data points (Dewis / Info Engine) and signposting opportunities

Year 1

Encourage partners & organisations to update and utilise

Customers to utilise one point of information source

Matters D & F 

Officer time

Existing resources

Making data available to others (promotion, dissemination, sharing) and for the purposes of planning

Each year

Methods & sources to be discussed and agreed

Matters A, B & G 

Officer time

Existing budgets / funding

Wider range of engagement and consultation events and focus groups

Each year

At least three groups each year - exact groups to be agreed

Matters A, B, F & I 

Officer time, facilities, materials for events

Additional funding may be required - existing resource to be quantified

Promotion of the Play Wales website

Year 1

Through PCC website & partners

Matter F

Officer time

Existing budgets / funding

Developing relationships, engagement and collaborative working with Town & Community Councils

Each year

At least three T&CCs each year - exact areas to be agreed

Matters A, B, C, F & H

Officer and T&CC time,

Additional materials and resources may be required

Existing budges / funding

Additional funding may be required for future developments

Development of outdoor life skills & physical literacy programmes

Year 2

Work with schools service and other providers

Matter I

Officer, volunteer time

Specialist practitioners may be required

Additional funding may be required for future developments

The consideration of older people and play

Year 1

Initial conversations with Adult Services and providers

Matter I

Officer time

Existing budgets / funding

Links to ALN and new curriculum transformation programmes

Year 1

Pilot project in schools cluster area

Matter I

Officer time

Specialist practitioners may be required

Additional funding may be required for future developments

Development of joint working, objectives and outcomes

Each year

Linked to other key corporate priorities and plans

Joint plans and programmes to be agreed with partners

Matters A, C, D & F 

Officer time

Costs for additional projects not yet known

Existing budgets may not contain capacity for additional projects / time needed to undertake this work

To identify and acquire additional funding streams / grants

Each year

Will be required if existing resources do not allow priorities / actions to be carried out

Matters B, G, H & I 

Officer time

 

Further development and implementation of agreed quality standards

Year 2

Existing standards to be maintained

Suite of appropriate standards to be agreed for the future

Matters B & D 

Officer time

Costs for additional projects or resources not yet known

Existing budgets may not contain capacity for additional projects / time needed to undertake this work

Further development of holiday provision and opportunities for specific groupsYear 1Direction from 'Start Well' group re: type & quantity of provisionMatter D

Officer time

Costs for additional projects or resources not yet known

Additional funding will be required for future developments

Some existing funding may be available

Development of a range of marketing, promotional and publicity materials and methods to raise the profile of playYear 1Marketing, promotion & publicity plan to be agreed between partnersMatter G

Officer time

Costs for additional projects or resources not yet known

Existing budgets may not contain capacity for additional projects / time needed to undertake this work
Partners, services, key stakeholders, positions of influence and organisations to recognise the importance of play and acknowledge when planning, providing and delivering servicesYear 1

PSA to be circulated to key stakeholders

Member briefing to be carried out

Future Play Sufficiency meetings to be planned

Matters F & I 

Officer time

Costs for additional resources if required not known

Existing budgets may not contain capacity for time needed to undertake this work
Further work with schools to develop understanding of play and community use of school groundYear 2

Work with schools and schools' service, PTA's, governors and parents

Other groups and organisations to be involved

Matter I

Officer time initially

Costs for additional resources if required not known

Existing budgets may not contain capacity for additional projects / time needed to undertake this work

 

For further detail and information please view the full Play Sufficiency Assessment [1MB] .

 

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