Why is a Co-operative Academy Different?
It is important to note that Co-operative Academies are still required to 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 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.
CEE has established close partnerships with other co-operative businesses such as Anglia Farmers to provide back office services and functions such as HR and payroll. As the Trust grows we can develop this central function further and share it with other Co-operative groups locally and nationally.