It would seem from the content of the Play Safety Forum's website that its purpose is to support the political aspirations of 'playworkers' and to look after the financial interests of the playground equipment manufacturers industry. The governance is structured so that only the members of these two fields can make decisions on the hierarchy of the organisation. 


Playwork is an ideology based upon loosely related scientific material. Quite often the scientific material is misrepresented to conform with the personal opinions of the playworkers. Two excellent examples of this are the theory of loose parts' and 'deep play'. Deep play is life threatening play that playworkers say is essential to a child's personal development (illustrated below extracts from a Play Wales publication). 

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A key part of playwork is that children should be harmed, they should learn through cuts, bruises, burns and other injuries while adults watch on. In playwork, adults only interact with children as a last resort. 

Rather than focusing on how children play and why children take risks, playworkers use their time manipulating the media to push their political ambitions forward, with "why children should play" as opposed to "how children play".

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Playworkers are master manipulators and their educational material is full of deception. 

Playwork contravenes the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child article 3, 19 and 31 because it places children in situations of 'harm' and 'neglect'. They are placed in harms way from the environment, dangerous equipment provided to them and other children (bullying, fighting etc). 

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We see a good case of how playworkers use manipulation in the rules of Play Safety Forum, the 4 playwork organisations, Play England, Wales, Scotland and Playboard Northern Ireland. Only these 4 organisations are allowed to nominate the chairman. That keeps the hierarchy of the Play safety Forum organisation a closed shop.  



Robin Sutcliffe is the former owner of Sutcliffe Play Ltd, a playground equipment manufacturer, his role as chairman of the forum is to look after the interest of the playground equipment manufacturing industry. We see this at work in the statement released about impact absorbing surfaces where in a letter to the British Standards Committee he places the cost of onsite testing of playground surfaces above the safety of children. ( more click here ). 



What is clear from playwork educational material and literature is that playworkers have no idea why children play and why children take risks while they are playing. This is the reason why we we see the main focus of playwork is to place children at risk without a written risk assessment to protect the organisations themselves from litigation. They have advised the Health and Safety Executive to allow life threatening play as part of the balanced approach to risk at play. ( CLICK HERE ). This contravenes the UNCRC Articles 3, 19 and 31.



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Promoting risk at play also benefits the playground manufacturing industry allowing them to have greater cushion against litigation.

If we consider the one case study which can be found on the Play Safety Forum that relates to a child being injured / maimed during a play session we see that the organisation are clueless about risk and are boasting about maiming a child and their defeat of the legal industry.


Play Safety Forum describe this as "a small but potentially significant win for Risk-Benefit Assessment". The Play Safety Forum has described a child being maimed as a win for the organisation but if we look closely at the story we will see that the solicitor representing the child has made an error in requesting a risk assessment 'specifically' for the game 'scare chase', as opposed to a 'risk assessment' for the door in which the child jammed her fingers. The staff at the facility were clearly negligent for allowing children to use a door as play equipment during the game of .scare chase. A door that was clearly a danger to children.

What is clear from the placement and use of the word 'specifically' is that the author of the 'case study' and chair of Play England trustees Nicola Butler was fully aware of the negligence and the purpose of the case study  is essentially to poke fun at the legal industry. Also of interest is the blog post of one of the Risk Benefit Assessment booklet authors Tim Gill which is of a similar nature. If we refer again to the PSF reason for existence

"[The Play Safety Forum] exists to consider and promote the wellbeing of children and young people through ensuring a balance between safety, risk and challenge in respect of play and leisure provision." 

and ask the question "what about the child who has been maimed for life and cheated from compensation? 


In 2012 the Play Safety Forum advised the UK Government's Health and Safety Executive that 'the possibility of serious or life threatening injuries cannot be eliminated' at play and in the following section 'mistakes will happen'. This means that in 2001 Play Wales introduced life threatening play into the play curriculum and advised the HSE in 2012 as part of the Play Safety Forum that life threatening play is acceptable. The HSE literature allows this to happen at play facilities, parks, green spaces, adventure playgrounds, holiday playschemes, schools, youth clubs, family entertainment centres and in childcare provision. 

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Children are allowed to die anywhere and everywhere thanks to the Play Safety Forum.



Home page - CLICK HERE Purpose of existence - CLICK HERE
Contacts - CLICK HERE Contacts - CLICK HERE
Membership - CLICK HERE Membership - CLICK HERE
Resources - CLICK HERE Resources - CLICK HERE
Seminar - CLICK HERE Seminar - CLICK HERE
Standards - CLICK HERE Standards - CLICK HERE
Case Studies - CLICK HERE Case Studies - CLICK HERE
Statement - CLICK HERE Statement - CLICK HERE


Abraham Maslow at level 2 (security needs) in his famous work "A Theory of Human Motivation" also known as "Hierachy of Needs" says of children in risky situations that

".... the average child in our society generally prefers a safe, orderly, predictable, organized world, which he can count on, and in which unexpected, unmanageable or other dangerous things do not happen"



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