Lesli Godfrey featured in ‘London Play Wire’

Earlier this month, our very own Lesli Godfrey, UK Strategic Lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce, was featured in London Play’s monthly E-Newsletter ‘London Play Wire’. She discussed why now is the right time to raise the profile of the playwork profession.

In case you didn’t get a chance to read it here’s what she had to say on the matter:

As you may know, SkillsActive is working with key organisations in the play world to establish a Register of Playwork Professionals for launch in October this year. In the longer term, the aim is to gain public and government recognition for the importance of playwork through the demonstration of our commitment to a professional approach to our work with children and young people. Playworkers will become members through their achievement of a practice-based, recognised playwork qualification and maintain their membership by engaging in a wide range of continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities, including training, conferences, workshops and reading.

Given the current economic climate, local authority cuts and strains on voluntary groups, you may think that this is not the best time to be asking playworkers to pay out a membership fee to support such a long term aim. My feeling is that this is exactly the right time; we have received funding from the current government, through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to kick start the register when previous administrations were reluctant to invest, and so more than ever, we need to raise our profile and demonstrate our worth, to ensure that playworkers and play services are valued for their unique contribution to children’s lives.

To this end, the Playwork Register is offering a free one-year membership and a wide range of discounts and benefits to encourage playworkers to join the pilot. The register will enable us to show government and their servants that our approach to children’s play is as professional and as important as any other role in the children’s workforce. To join, have a scanned image or photo of your qualification to hand and visit http://www.playworkregister.org/.

For more information about the playwork sector please visit the SkillsActive website. Or why not check us out on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to all the latest playwork industry news and information.  

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The Register of Playwork Professionals welcome’s Playday 2013

 

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The Register of Playwork Professionals is proud to support Playday 2013

We know August may seem like a summer’s dream away from now, but it’s just around the corner. August for us Playworkers means one thing….. Playday!

Playday is the national day for play and this year Playday will be held on the 7th August. Now in its 26th year, Playday is the biggest play sector event in the UK! As well as being a celebration of play, the Playday campaign highlights the importance of play in children’s lives and in light of government cuts to the play industry, it is more crucial than ever that we unite to stand up for play!

Each year Playday has a set theme, this year’s theme will be Playful Places.

The Playday campaign this year is asking everyone to help ensure that the places where children play and hang out are great places to play.

The campaign identifies that:

  • Children should feel welcomed and part of their community
  • Parents want their children to be able to play outside
  • Public space should be designed and managed with children’s play in mind
  • Children and young people need to be involved in planning the places and spaces where they play.

It’s really easy to get involved and celebrate Playday and it really doesn’t matter if your plans are big or small. What matters is the fact that children get the chance to just go out and play. If we can show how important play is for children, we have a better chance of gaining recognition by government for play.

There are so many different ways you can be involved in this great event, so why not try to

  • Provide play in a completely different environment
  • Put up some marquees wherever you’re hosting your event, providing shelter from wind and rain or if it’s really hot they may come in handy hiding from that midday sun!
  • (If you have one) use your local play bus as an attraction.  

However, if you can’t imagine yourself holding a community-wide event then don’t worry about it. Playday offer some great ideas of how to celebrate on a budget:

Blankets + chairs = great for making tents and dens

Water + washing-up liquid + tarpaulin = homemade water slide madness!

Water balloons + super soaker water guns = the great neighbourhood water fight!

Large piece of rope = a tug-of-war challenge

Bags of sand + buckets = who says the beach can’t come to you?

Hula hoops + skipping ropes + balls = always a child pleaser

Picnic treats = food to fuel creative energy

Remember to stay safe and don’t forget the kids!

If you are planning a community event then don’t forget to check out the Playday website, where they offer great step-by-step advice on a range of topics including funding and how to get publicity for your event.

So whether you’ve got kids, you work with kids, or perhaps just a big kid yourself, Playday needs your support! Are you coming out to play?

Image Credit: playday.org.uk 

SkillsActive launches pilot for the Register of Playwork Professionals

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SkillsActive is proud to launch the pilot for the Register of Playwork Professionals.

The Register of Playwork Professionals has been developed by SkillsActive in partnership with employers, playworkers and representatives from key national organisations involved in the development, delivery and support for children’s play. The Register will ensure that standards within the Playwork industry are kept to a high level through annual Continued Professional Development (CPD) for all members.

Successful applicants during the pilot will be given membership for one year free of charge and, in addition, the first 100 members to sign up to the Register of Playwork Professionals will also receive one year’s free subscription to the forthcoming Journal of Playwork Practice.

“Having worked in children’s services for over 20 years, I am very pleased that the Register of Playwork Professionals has been established by SkillsActive. Playwork professionals can now be qualified at various levels up to and including Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Postgraduate Qualification; this recognition helps the hard working individuals and also the workforce in our contribution to helping children live satisfying and enjoyable lives.”  Prof Perry Else, Course Leader BA (Hons) Children and Playwork, Sheffield Hallam University.

Using the expertise gained from the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), the Register of Playwork Professionals is looking to build on this success within the playwork industry.

Driving a high standard of professionalism in the sector, the establishment of the Register of Playwork Professionals will:

  • Recognise the importance of the role playworkers perform in the provision of play opportunities
  • Offer much needed re-assurance to parents or carers that staff working with their children (aged 4 – 16 years old) are appropriately qualified
  • Provide a system of regulation to ensure that individuals meet agreed National Occupational Standards, which describe the knowledge, competence and skills of good practice.

The entry levels and categories for the Register of Playwork Professionals will be based on the job roles and related qualifications held by each individual. The framework provided by the Register will offer verification that those working in the sector are fully qualified.

To ensure that members of the Register of Playwork Professional maintain skills in line with industry standards, they will be required to complete annual Continued Professional Development (CPD), which will be tracked by the activepassport system.

“We’re delighted to be launching the pilot of the Register of Playwork Professionals. It’s important that the playwork sector is recognised for the very valuable contributions playworkers make to the lives of our children. I believe the establishment of the Register will really put playwork on the map and raise the profile of playwork within the children’s workforce. The Register will also ensure high quality throughout the industry and drive professionalisation throughout the playwork sector”                                                         Lesli Godfrey, UK Strategic Lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce, SkillsActive

For further information about the Register of Playwork Professionals, please visit our website http://www.playworkregister.org/

For further information or comment about these issues and the wider issues of skills and employment, or to arrange interviews please contact Sharon Colligan (playwork@skillsactiveregisters.org 0207 632 2000).