More Schools Adopt Co-Operative Trust Model
on: April 02, 2010, 12:01 am
Author: The Co-operative Group
The growing acceptance that the co-operative model offers
schools a compelling structure was further underlined when the latest
tranche of co-operative trust schools was announced.
Fifteen new co-operative trust schools, which offer all stakeholders an opportunity
to be involved in the running of their school, become legal entities today (1 April)
bringing the total throughout the country to more than 50.
The new co-operative schools include a Leeds based federation of eight schools with
another cluster in South Bristol. Individual school trusts are also being
established in Stoke-on-Trent, Oldham, Bradford, High Wycombe and Peterborough.
Anyone with an interest in the school including students, teachers, parents,
employers and the local community will be encouraged to become members of the Trust,
making the trust a community based mutual.
The members will elect representatives to a school stakeholder forum, which will
meet on a regular basis, in order to ensure that those in positions of
responsibility remain sensitive to the needs, views and aspirations of the different
This co-operative mutual model is based on open membership, equal democratic
participation (one member, one vote) and clear accountability of those in charge to
those for whom services are provided is very much in fashion at the present time.
Russell Gill, Head of Membership at The Co-operative Group, said: “The co-operative model, which is very much in vogue
with the mainstream political parties, allows all stakeholders greater participation
in the running of the school and our values, that date back more than 150 years,
offer schools an ethos which we believe can lead to higher standards, aspirations
Co-operative College Principal Mervyn Wilson, who has been working with the local
authorities and individual schools, said: “It is clear from the response we are
getting from both education authorities and schools up and down the country that
they appreciate the advantages the co-operative model can offer and that is why so
many schools have adopted the model since the first one was established in Stockport
just two years ago. The model is establishing itself as the fastest growing type of
trust school across the country.”
More than one school a week is currently embarking on the process to become a
co-operative trust school and the Government has set a target of establishing 100 by
the end of the year. On current projections this will be met by the end of this
academic year with the total likely to double by early in 2011.
Additionally the growing network of co-operative schools recently agreed to
establish itself as a national network, seeking to develop a strong local, regional
and national voice, as well as range of services meeting the needs of 21st Century
- ENDS –
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including Insurance, Food, Clothing, Travel and Legal Services all of which have
helped them recently win the Responsible Retailer of the Year award for the past
2. The Co-operative Group are also involved in a number of worthy causes under their “Ethics in Action” campaign which includes Plan Bee – A campaign to save the
bees whose numbers in the UK have been on a decline as well as bringing Climate Change
Facts to the attention of the UK too.
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