Risk in Play and Learning: Ubud-Höör Declaration


“School grounds should not be as safe as possible but as safe as necessary.”

—  Risk in Play and Learning: Ubud-Höör Declaration, International School Grounds Alliance

Risk-taking is Essential for Children’s Well-being

‘While promoting risk-taking on school grounds may raise questions of liability for schools and concerns for parents it is essential for the development of healthy young people, according to a declaration released September 4, 2017 by the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA). This declaration is endorsed by all 54 of ISGA’s Leadership Council members, representing 38 organizations from 16 countries and six continents.

“Since the world is full of risks, children need to learn to recognize and respond to them in order to protect themselves and to develop their own risk-assessment capabilities.”

— Risk in Play and Learning: Ubud-Höör Declaration, International School Grounds Alliance

The Declaration cites research from around the globe demonstrating the benefits of risk-taking and showing that indiscriminate risk-minimization policy can be a source of harm.  The Declaration calls on those who plan and manage school environments to take benefits of risk into account. It further encourages parents, school officials, legislators and insurers to devise policies and processes that permit schools to provide activities with beneficial levels of risk.

The Risk in Play and Learning Declaration (also called the Ubud-Höör Declaration) was developed at ISGA Leadership Council meetings in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia and Höör, Sweden. We invite you to download a copy of the Declaration to share with your colleagues in Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese. We will also have the Declaration available in additional languages later this fall.’

This is a great step forward for risky play in schools and even better, it is an international initiative. And for all the play academics out there, there are lots of references to studies on children’s play and risk.

Yorkshire Play endorses it, will you?

Download and endorse the declaration here, which is also where the article was taken from.

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