Michael Follett BA Hons. PGCE, Director
OPAL CIC LTD
Michael gained most of his expertise in play before he was
fifteen. He grew up near Bristol, England with a free play range of three miles
by the age of ten. He lit fires in the woods, fell off poorly made go-karts and
rarely played within half a mile of an adult.
Michael is director of Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL). A
not-for-profit company set up to improve children's play opportunities
especially in schools and early years settings. His six years as Play Adviser
in the Learning and School Effectiveness Team at South Gloucestershire Council
covered all areas of play planning and policy delivery especially the
development of improved play policy and practice in primary schools and the
design of early years play landscapes. His experience in these areas over the
past fourteen years has led to the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) programme
for primary schools which has been used in over one hundred and fifty schools
across the UK. His other work includes initiating the original Play Rangers and
Play Pods projects.
He takes an active part in development of national and
international policy and practice. He is currently a trustee of Play England,
is play advisor to The National Trust and the Football Association (FA), has
advised National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), Ministry of Justice,
DCSF (UK Gov), and The Lottery.
Recent presentations include the US Play Coalition in North
Carolina, the World Forum Foundation on Design in San Francisco and Childspace
and Early Education Council speaking tours in New Zealand.
Sessions Being Delivered