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The Tracks 2024

Explore the tracks for 2024!

The information on the track pages may yet change before Conference


If, as playworkers, our purpose is to support and enable children's play, then we need to have an understanding of what play is, because if we don't, then how can we provide for the opportunity to play?

As a profession, we have a number of theories that underpin our professional approach. But these theories can be interpreted and interrogated in different ways Can the playwork approach be varied depending on the context in which the playworker works?

Playwork in Schools
The increasing raising of awareness of the importance of play within the education system has meant that hundreds of schools across the UK have been working to bring in the playwork approach, whether it is a whole school approach or restricted to lunchtime and other playtimes. We are going to explore the various options that have been adopted

Risk Taking

Whilst it is recognised that children need adventure and risk in their play, playworkers often struggle with how to justify the risk-taking opportunities provided for their children. It is also often forgotten that risk-taking is more than just the physical, but encompasses emotional and mental risk-taking as well.

Play and Playwork Around the World

We have been amazed this year at the number of offerings that have been made by people to talk about their experiences of play and playwork in countries around the world. This track sets out to celebrate and learn from our international friends and colleagues.

Here is an opportunity for the Conference participants to get in some playing for themselves, as well as perhaps gain some ideas they can take back into their settings to offer to their children.


Play and Playwork

The Play and Playwork Track continues the themes from the Play track and the Playwork track on Tuesday, we need to understand Play so that we can be better at Playworkers, and in order to be better as Playworkers we also need to share thinking about our practice.

Teenage Play

All children have a right and a need to play. The need to provide an appropriate play space for the older child is often missed, and for many playwork provisions, the top age of their participants is 12 or 13. Teenagers need to play too, and we need to understand the teenage brain, their need for play, and how we can resource this.

Policy, Supervision and fund-raising

When running a setting either as a senior work or as part of the management board we need to think about how do we create policies with our staff teams and support them with appropriate supervision and appraisal systems.

We also need to think about our approaches to fund-raising in these difficult times.

Contexts of Play and Playwork

In the world of playwork it is sometimes easy to forget that playwork can take place in many different places and in different ways across the diversity of children that we work with.

Playwork Foundation

The aim of the Playwork Foundation is to promote playwork to policy makers, parents, the media, and the world at large, so that over time, more children benefit from the playwork approach. Our aim is also to support the playwork community, working with partners and allies to strengthen our network.
This track is part of the Foundation's current thinking.


Brain Food

I thought it would be grand to give you yet more excitement so created this track for the exciting sessions that couldn't be fitted in anywhere else.

The Out of School Sector

It is essential to recognise that playwork is not just about adventure playgrounds. A massive sector is often overlooked because children have to pay to attend, and this sector faces unique challenges and barriers in delivering high-quality playwork provision.


This track will be curated by Rebekah Jackson Reece and the wonderful Out of School Alliance, who you can read more about here. OOSA members can STILL also access a 10% discount on their Conference tickets - contact Rebekah to find out more.

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The National Playwork Conference is brought to you by: Training, Playwork and Play CIC: 13575861 11 Beachy Head Road, Eastbourne BN20 7QN 01323 730500