Playgroups shake off old image

3rd February 1995 at 00:00
The Pre-school Playgroups Association has relaunched itself with a new, more serious image. The name-change to the Pre-school Learning Alliance (PLA) comes as Education Secretary Gillian Shephard's task force on under-fives is developing plans for expanding nursery education.

"The actual word 'playgroup' doesn't now reflect the multi-faceted role they have developed," said Mrs Shephard, on hand to support what was hailed as a "historic event" in London on Wednesday.

She stressed that the Government wanted to be certain that the increased provision was characterised by quality, as much choice as possible and by training. She said the Government's plans would "of course include local authority provision, but also contributions from the independent sector and most importantly from the voluntary sector, overwhelmingly represented by the Pre-school Learning Alliance."

The PLA, which serves 42 per cent of all three and four-year-olds in England, had waiting lists totalling 350,000, and there were many more families who could not afford the low fees, said its chief executive officer, Margaret Lochrie. There was "scope for more pre-schools (playgroups) to be established - but only with more funds." She said the new name would encourage parents to expect high standards.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today