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Play Sufficiency Assessment the Ludicology Approach

Wales is the first country in the world to legislate for children’s play through the introduction of the Play Sufficiency Duty requiring all Welsh local authorities to assess and secure sufficient play opportunities for children in their areas. In the winter months of 2012/13 Mike and Ben, in their respective roles with Wrexham Council and Glyndwr University, led on the completion of the local authority’s first play sufficiency assessment.

To enable an effective and detailed assessment to be carried out mixed research methods were used to capture both quantitative and qualitative data, helping to ensure rigour, credibility, trustworthiness, and where appropriate, transferability in the information produced. Quantitative research generated a large response rate establishing the general levels of satisfaction in respect of opportunities for play across the county borough. Qualitative data then provided greater detail enabling further analysis of how people’s level of satisfaction is affected by localised social and physical conditions. To achieve this the following research tools were developed and implemented:

  • Facilitated group work in schools using a mosaic approach
  • Online questionnaires – for children, young people, parents, and playwork and childcare professionals
  • Focus groups – with parents, professionals and other marginalised groups.
  • Community auditing of spaces for play – audit tool to consider accessibility and play value developed and applied to 49 sites across the six case study communities by playwork professionals. The perceptions of children were then cross-checked against those of professionals across 12 sites.
  • Semi structured interviews – with lead professionals associated with policy areas identified in the play sufficiency statutory guidance
  • Mapping of demographics, spaces and service – data collected from across Performance & Development, Planning, Education, Family Information Service, Environment and Leisure.

Read the full research report: Wrexham Play Sufficiency Assessment 2013

Or listen to Ben and Mike talk about about the findings from this research: Play Sufficiency Research Podcast


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