Why we are a co-operative
Co-operatives, in one form or another, have existed for over 200 years. They are organisations in which people voluntarily come together to meet their common needs and improve or enrich their lives. They are all based on the idea of each individual being a member and having a say in the running of the co-operative. They are not for personal profit but for community benefit. They are also based on the co-operative values, shared globally.
So for us, being a co-operative means that we are all part of a large community of individuals who work together for our mutual benefit. In our case, we are a large group of people who share a common goal of improving young people's education and supporting each other every day in our endeavors.
One of the main benefits of being a co-operative is that we can pool our resources and expertise to achieve more than we could on our own. By working together, we can access services and support that we might not be able to afford individually, such as finance, ICT, building and maintenance or legal advice. This helps us to grow and achieve our goals more effectively.
Another advantage of being a co-operative is that it provides us with a democratic and transparent structure. As a member, you have a say in how the co-operative is run and on important decisions. This means that we can all ensure that our community is run in a way that reflects our shared values.
Being part of a co-operative also means that we are part of a wider movement of people who are working towards a more sustainable and equitable world. By supporting each other and working collaboratively, we can create a more resilient and fairer system that benefits everyone.
Finally, being part of a co-operative is more than just a business decision. It is a way of living and working grounded in community, cooperation, mutual support, and shared values. By being part of a cooperative, we all feel connected to a larger purpose and a shared vision for a better world.
We are proud to be a co-operative and believe it is the best way to achieve our shared goals for young people that will flourish and help create a more sustainable and equitable future.
What does it mean to a school in a co-operative trust?
Co-operative schools must still abide by the same rules and procedures as every other academy in the country. We still have to demonstrate strong standards and provide a challenge and accountability framework for every school. Co-operative Academies and Multi Academy Trusts are however slightly, but importantly different from 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 of our young people.
The co-operative schools and academies 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 values-driven young citizens who flourish.