Co-op Schools of the Future, an alternative to Academies and Free Schools

Co-operative Schools – the Alternative to Gove’s Private Academisation

Education has been a political football for decades. Perhaps some are surprised to hear it was Margaret Thatcher who got rid of grammar schools. Grammar  schools selected on academic performance rather than income, so many Tory voters found disappointment.

“The reason for the change from a selective to a comprehensive system was controversial, but not deeply divisive, at the time: middle-class parents in the Sixties and Seventies began to resent a test that could consign their children, at the tender age of 11, to schools which they regarded as second-class.”

Comprehensive education should be about the very best high quality education and opportunities for everyone, but in truth there has never been a true comprehensive system, since private and elitist public schools have remained. Now Michael Gove’s policies of Academisation and Free schools are being introduced by the Coalition at an alarming pace. And why? So that they can be ripe for privatisation and profiteering. The world’s best achieving education systems are in fact in countries such as Finland where private schools are banned.


What can be done? Here is alternative a way forward. The Co-operative School. 

This animation was commissioned by the Co-operative College and the Co-operative Group to explain how co-operative values and principles are being used in schools to make a real difference 

Weston-super-Mare Labour Party reports: ” South Ward Labour Councillors , and the party’s candidate in the forthcoming by-election on 2nd May, are calling on local parents to wholeheartedly and actively support moves to bring the Wards three local primary schools together into a ‘Co-operative Schools Trust’.

Under plans to be discussed shortly, Bournville, Windwhistle and Oldmixon Primary Schools (together with Walliscote Primary and Milton Park Primary) are considering becoming foundation schools, and operating as a co-operative Trust , which would be known as ‘the Weston-super-Mare Education Trust’.

The Co-operative Schools Society

Co-operative Schools are about developing a balanced set of values that will help young people become the good citizens our society needs.

The Values and Principles we have adopted are internationally agreed and used by Co-operatives across the world.

Membership of SCS is open to any school or educational co-operative as long as they share our values and principles. Our members use these values in their own organisation and work with other SCS members for everyone’s benefit.

“The Trust and partner organisations can exert influence, so who those stakeholders are is important, but the degree of openness, accountability and democratic participation that is afforded to educational professionals, parents and other commnunity stakeholders is such that we really believe this is the way forward – particularly given the challenges facing our schools in South Ward.”

If you would like to find out more about them use one of the following links:

Further Reading:

  1. Meg Munn MP. “Why I’m bringing forward the Co-operative Schools Bill
  2. Co-operative Keynsianism: Think Left
  3. Academisation and Demolition of our Education System  Think Left
  4. Gove’s Selective Truth Think Left
  5. New Statesman: Why whirlwind Gove is acting so fast.
  6. Local Schools Network: Would abolishing private schools improve education of all our children?
  7. The End of the Grammar School

5 thoughts on “Co-op Schools of the Future, an alternative to Academies and Free Schools

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