Making outdoors more accessible

13th February 2009 at 00:00

The suggestion in your article "Pupils crave chance to branch out alone" (TES, January 30) - that children's need to learn about risk through play is thwarted by risk-averse government policy - is incorrect.

Both the Government's play and safeguarding strategies make clear that "wrapping children in cotton wool" does them long-term harm. Indeed, Managing Risk in Play Provision, our recent guidance document, cited in your article as a more enlightened approach, is a joint publication with the Government and endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive.

The majority of the Pounds 235 million underpinning the strategy will be to improve and extend unstaffed play areas where children can play in freedom. Our guidance for this investment was also jointly published with the Government.

Indeed, the Government's Play Strategy, published in December, is, in our view, a bold 10-year plan to make the outdoor world more accessible to children so that they might again enjoy the kind of freedoms espoused by Dr Helene Guldberg in her book, Reclaiming Childhood.

Adrian Voce, Director, Play England.

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