NASUWT and Schools Co-operative Society agreement
The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, and the Schools Co-operative Society, have today entered into a landmark agreement to help ensure that state schools remain not-for-profit and democratically-accountable to the public and parents.
The agreement highlights co-operative trusts as a democratic alternative for schools to the academy chains and the privatisation and marketisation agenda.
Dave Boston, Chief Executive of the Schools Co-operative Society said:
“Co-operatives and trade unions come from the same background, traditions, shared beliefs and values.
“Our two organisations will work together to ensure that schools serve the best interests of children and young people, parents and carers, the workforce and the wider community.
“Co-operative schools are growing rapidly as more and more schools see co-operation rather than competition as the best way of achieving sustainable schools improvement.”
NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates said:
“This positive agreement represents an alternative to the privatisation agenda that sets school against school and puts parents and pupils at the mercy of the free market.
“It will give schools a safe place from predatory, profit-making private providers.
“This agreement underlines the values and ethos of state education, fairness, social justice, equality and provision for all children which is free at the point of use.
“Collaboration and co-operation is in the best interests of all children and young people.”
Mervyn Wilson, Principal of the Co-operative College, which has led the development of co-operative schools, said:
“This agreement reflects the traditions of the Co-operative Movement over the last 200 years as embodied by Robert Owen and the Owenites who set up the first Co-operative schools.
“It is a landmark agreement and can only help build on successes to date in building a democratic and accountable alternative to the rapid growth of the sponsor academy chains.”
The Schools Co-operative Society and the NASUWT have been working to develop the agreement over the course of the last year.
This is the first agreement of its kind with a teaching union. Only one other union has entered into a similar formal agreement with the Schools Co-operative Society and that is Unison.
About the Schools Co-operative Society
The Schools Co-operative Society is the national co-ordinating body for Co-operative Schools and other educational co-operatives. They can be contacted via email on email@example.com or via their website www.co-operativeschools.coop
Co-operative schools have grown rapidly since Reddish Vale Technology College became the first co-operative trust with the Vale Co-operative Trust established in 2008.
By the start of the new academic year in September there will be over 350 co-operative schools with many more starting the consultation process. Co-operative schools are driven but faith neutral which is another reason why many schools see them as particularly appropriate in our diverse society.
For further information about the Co-operative College go to http://www.co-op.ac.uk/