Next steps

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Next Steps – OPAL Membership

OPAL membership is a package of services and benefits for OPAL schools to sustain high-quality play, provide training and staff support and provide an easy path to annual reaccreditation.

Your OPAL award status lasts for two years before becoming due for reaccreditation. However, you will still need to work continuously to sustain the quality you have achieved and especially to maintain your RAPID approach to risk.

We recommend enrolment in OPAL membership as soon as you have completed the OPAL Primary Programme.

To be an OPAL school, you will need to:

  1. Continually strive to improve the quality of play for all of its children.
  2. Embed play in all aspects of planning, self-evaluation and delivery.
  3. Acknowledge the seriousness of play as a human right and regard play as a necessity for children’s mental and physical wellbeing.
  4. Update staff training and ensure informed transition of OPAL key roles

Benefits of OPAL membership

To help your school maintain and improve the standard you have reached OPAL membership offers the following.

  1. Free access to regional support meetings at Platinum schools.
  2. OPAL working group access to the OPAL online Slack community offering questions and answers and discussion forums.
  3. Tea with OPAL online support sessions.
  4. Annually updated OPAL ePack.
  5. Member resources on the OPAL website, presentations and conference sessions.
  6. The OPAL school's version of the OPAL newsletter.
  7. Five copies of Playwork Essentials.
  8. Free access to OPAL college sessions on RAPID risk training and induction to the play team sessions.
  9. Paid access to OPAL college sessions for new headteachers, curricular leads, play coordinators and play team members.
  10. Paid access to specialist training sessions with guest speakers on issues ranging from rope swings to supporting special needs in mainstream playgrounds.

The annual cost of OPAL Plus is £150 per school

Reaccreditation

Your award status lasts for two years. If you wish to continue to display and promote your OPAL status after this, you will need to reaccredit. After 18 months, you should submit a RAG rating to your mentor, and they will agree on the level of support need to reaccredit.

Cost of basic reaccreditation £500

OPAL Honours

Schools which maintain Platinum status for over four years will join our OPAL Honours group. OPAL will promote these schools as national exemplars of outstanding practice.

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