Is your school playground looking tatty? Nearly half of school playgrounds are described as outdated and insufficient for the number of children. And with 700 planned school rebuilding projects no longer going ahead because of the scrapping of the Building Schools for Future scheme, a massive 93 per cent of parents fear these facilities will only get worse.
The Government’s deficit-busting spending cuts are impacting on thousands of UK school children’s playtimes, but Ronseal’s Playground Project campaign, teaming up with playground equipment manufacturers, Timberline, will give one UK school the ultimate makeover. Individuals, pupils, families and school teachers are all being encouraged to nominate their local school via www.ronsealplayground.co.uk. The most worthy area will be given a £30,000 makeover and five runners up will each be given a story tellers chair plus Woodland Trust tree packs to help spruce up their outdoor spaces.
To nominate your local school for Playground Project, simply visit www.ronsealplayground.co.uk stating why it deserves to win and including a photograph of the current play area. Closing date for entries is Saturday 30th May 2011
According to experts, outdoor creative play has a profound effect on children’s health and wellbeing. Dr. Michaela Gummerum, lecturer in Psychology from the University of Plymouth’s School of Psychology said: “Research found that children who consistently play outdoors in natural environments show positive social behaviour, increased motor fitness and higher attention spans, than peers who stay inside.
“School playgrounds are vital, not only for promoting feelings of wellbeing, but also for helping children engage in creative play, which is central to their development. Children need safe, natural spaces to interact with friends, learn and explore.”
Ronseal’s study also highlights that families are growing increasingly concerned about the effect the budget cuts are having on their local community area as a whole. Of the 1,000 British parents surveyed, 48 per cent don’t have any access to safe community facilities, such as parks and youth centres. One fifth of respondents even describe their current communal areas as ‘danger zones,’ unfit for use due to vandalism and graffiti
Kate Hodge, Brand Manager at Ronseal, said: “Parents are understandably worried about the impact the spending cuts are having not only on vital school playground facilities, but also on their local community as a whole. “Our research highlights just how much children and families rely on school areas for outdoor play – 37 per cent of children spend between 1.5 – 2 hours a day with their friends in the school playground, compared to only the occasional half hour playing in the garden at home. This is why we’ve launched our Playground Project campaign. We’ve been helping people protect the wood in their homes and gardens for years. Now we want to help improve outdoor school facilities for children in the UK, protecting these vital areas for future generations.”