I have come across Play England rather late in life. Its purpose is to ensure that children and young people in England have the space and opportunity to play freely as part of their daily lives, at school and other services, at home, and throughout the public realm. This sounds a good idea and its what parents, schools and communities used to do. This is PE's own history
Play England, part of the children's charity NCB, was established by the former Children's Play Council (CPC) in 2006 as a result of a Big Lottery Fund (BIG) grant of more than £15million for the Play England Project, as an integral part of BIG's Children's Play initiative. In November 2007, Play England and CPC agreed to consolidate its activities under the Play England identity to avoid any confusion about the relationship between both organisations. At the same time a new Strategic Advisory Board was established to drive forward our work chaired by Sandra Melville, a former CPC chair. The former CPC membership was revitalised to ensure we fully represent the play sector in England; the resulting Play England Council has over 250 members who meet throughout the year to contribute to our strategic plans. The success of the Children's Play initiative, together with our effective research, policy and campaigning activities, contributed the decision of the last government to adopt a national Play Strategy. This saw our capacity almost double in 2008-09 when we were appointed as a government national delivery partner under two new contracts totalling more than £7m. In summer 2010 Play England announced a reorganisation as result of changes to our contracts with the Department for Education. The new structure and programme of work, which sees our nine regional offices replaced with a flexible targeted development and delivery team to ensure that we are best able to represent and support the play sector and respond to the changing political and economic context.
On a more practical level, I am pleased to note that its work is sponsored by both Persil and Savlon. How marvellous!