About Us

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International First Prize Award

In 2018 OPAL beat 30 entrants from across Europe to win first place as the best active schools programme in Europe in the Active Schools awards funded by the European Union and hosted by Fit Sport Austria.

National Awards

In 2019 OPAL collected two first-place awards at the National Playwork Awards. One for Blue Coat Primary in the ‘Playwork in Other Contexts’ category, and one in the ‘Raising the Profile of Play’ category.

In 2018 OPAL was shortlisted in the category of ‘Active Schools Programmes’ in the UK Active prize awards.

OPAL in Europe

OPAL is the main advisory organisation to the EU funded ‘Play Friendly Schools’ quality mark, supporting improved play in schools in Poland, Hungary, Czech Rep , Slovak Rep and Austria. Find out more about the initiative here.

OPAL have recently branched out into working with International Schools. In a partnership with Airbus in Toulouse, we are developing play at a German DST school and the IST International School.

In 2019 we have started working with the American School of Warsaw. The philosophy and practices which OPAL support align very closely with the accreditation requirements of International Baccalaureate and enable International Schools to access the same benefits which hundreds of UK school have experienced.

OPAL in Canada

In a programme initiated by Brenda Simon, OPAL worked in partnership with Earthday Canada, then Eco Kids, the Toronto District Education Board and the Toronto Catholic School Board to bring the OPAL programme to nearly 50 schools in the Toronto area. Research into the impact of this pilot has been carried out by Rearson University.

OPAL is a Community Interest Company

OPAL is a registered Community Interest Company This means that a CIC cannot be formed or used solely for the personal gain of a particular person, or group of people.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international human rights treaty which grants all children and young people a comprehensive set of rights, including the right to play. (Article 31)

OPAL is committed to ensuring that Article 31  is recognised and implemented in all UK schools and by all organisations which have an impact on the quality of childhood.

Become an OPAL Mentor

  • Are you an experienced trainer and a passionate advocate for children play?
  • Do you have the confidence and skills to works with schools senior leadership?
  • Could you run your own OPAL franchise?

The OPAL play in schools programme is being offered more widely across the country as more free-lancers and organisations join. If you are interested in becoming a partner organisation or training as an associate mentor please click here.

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