The Co-operative Difference
Co-operative Academies and Multi Academy Trusts are slightly, but importantly different to other Academy models. Our shared vision and values are embedded into our company Articles of Association making it very clear about the way in which we work for the benefit our our young people. Any school considering becoming a Co-operative Academy should ensure that its values are closely aligned with that of the movement and the school should be certain that it can uphold these values at all times. The movement places a high emphasis on schools, teachers and the community working together to provide the best environment for young people, enabling them to develop into young citizens.
Co-operative Academy Articles also have provision for a democratic Co-operative Forum made up from different groups of stakeholders involved with the schools such as parents, staff, students and the local community. This Forum has direct input and engagement with the Members and Trustees who are ultimately accountable for the performance of the Trust and it is an important relationship in maintaining the autonomy of each school.
A school converting to becoming either a Co-operative Academy or a Co-operative Foundation Trust will immediately gain access to the wide network of other Co-operative Schools through membership of the Schools Co-operative Society. Our Principle of Co-operation amongst Co-operatives help to ensure that each schools has access to their wider community no matter what local structure they are part of.
Some of our regional networks and national partners can offer directly or sign-post to professional services to support schools such as;
- Education support and Challenge
- Academy conversion advice and project management
- HR and Payroll
- Co-operative governance training
- Central purchasing and procurement
On some occasions schools will be required to convert to be an academy with a sponsor to work with a good or outstanding school to lead improvement. A number of our member Co-operative Academies are already approved sponsors and SCS is also developing it’s own Co-operative Academy sponsorship as part of its regional model.
We will consider sponsoring a school for conversion to an academy if they can clearly demonstrate that their vision, values and principles closely relate to those described above.