Children's Play

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provision of play opportunities for children with disabilities and complex needs.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the report from Sense, The case for play, published 22 June 2015; and what the implications of that report are for her Department's policies.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

Play has an important role in supporting all young children to develop and prepare for later learning. The importance of play is recognised in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework[1], which states: “Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.”

Early Years educators and Early Years teachers are required to have an understanding of different pedagogical approaches, including the role of play in supporting early learning and development. It is for individual schools and settings to provide opportunities for play for their children and pupils, including those with special educational needs.

We welcome the report published by Sense and their continuing efforts to support deafblind children and young people.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2

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