Measuring the impact of play in your school

20 January 2020


Did you know that Playforce is the only play company that actively measures the impact of schools’ investment in playgrounds and outdoor spaces?  We do this to ensure the projects that we work on and the equipment and solutions we design are making a genuine and tangible difference to children, schools and settings. We collect data from our customers regularly, analyse the findings, then share the findings with them so they can demonstrate the value of their investment to staff, parents, governors and the wider school community.

We feel that a lack of measurable, accurate data has prevented lobbying bodies and the wider industry from presenting a stronger argument for play funding.  We hope that this research will help shine a light on the benefits of play and the benefit of investment in well-designed, high-quality equipment and facilities for outdoor learning and activity.

Since 2015 we’ve seen fantastic evidence of improvements in all areas of school life, from behaviour and physical literacy levels through to levels of parental engagement. 

Nearly half of Playforce customers (48%) reported a significant increase in physical activity levels following improvements to their outside space and nearly four in ten (38.1%) reported major improvements in physical literacy and competence.  Behaviour (43.4%) and positive attitudes to learning (36.3%) were significantly better as a result too, schools said, as were happiness (54.1%) and well-being (42.8%).  The benefits of playground investment go beyond the bell too, it seems. 46.1% of respondents said children use their school’s outdoor space before and after school. 

You can see more results in our infographic, here.

Five years on from the launch of our impact measurement we’re approaching everyone that has had new play equipment, from Playforce, over the last 18 months, to complete our short survey. They results will be written up and changes, since the initial report in 2016, shared with the education community.

If you’ve had new playground equipment from Playforce, in last 18 months, we’d like to hear from you. You’ll receive an email from us but you can also go straight to our survey here.

We’re also looking for case studies that, in particular, demonstrate improvements in health and wellbeing, through play. We’re preparing for Children’s Mental Health Week (3rd - 9th February) and we’d love to hear your examples of how play area has helped to make a positive impact on this.

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