It’s often hard to predict what will generate an active interest in an issue. The issue may have been around for a good deal of time, indeed may have been a source of worry or irritation but, somehow, the matter appears impenetrable, difficult to grasp.
Such, arguably, is how many play provision providers have felt and still feel about playground equipment and surfacing standards. Decisions are promulgated, they seem to bear a stamp of authority, yet there is a persistent sense of disconnect between decision-makers, and those affected by their pronouncements. The relevance of standards is asserted by the bodies that generate them, but in many of the settings affected by them, there is doubt. Such doubts hitherto have been muted, not channelled or organised, or, indeed, been the subject of much debate.
We may, however, be witnessing a change. We may be experiencing by those affected by standards a nascent sense of empowerment. The sense that if current arrangements for generating standards are perpetuated, then bad decisions will continue to made. That what is required, is a fundamental rethink about standards, the values that inform them, the structures and the processes that generate them. It is, as I say, a nascent sense of empowerment, not by any means fully formed. Continue reading