NASUWT and Schools Co-operative Society agreement
The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, and the Schools Co-operative Society have entered into a landmark agreement to help ensure that state schools remain not-for-profit and democratically accountable to the public.
The agreement, which has been developed over the past year, highlights co-operative trusts as a democratic alternative for schools to the academy chains and the privatisation and marketisation agenda. It is the first agreement of its kind with a teaching union. Only Unison has entered into a similar formal agreement with the Schools Co-operative Society.
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. Dave Boston, Chief Executive of the Schools Co-operative Society, the national co-ordinating body for co-operative schools and other educational co-operatives, 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: “In the co-operative movement we often refer to Robert Owen as the grandfather of co-operation – and it is also worth remembering that he championed education rather than child labour in the mills and actively encouraged trade unionism.
“This agreement reflects that legacy and demonstrates a shared commitment to safeguard the traditions of education developed since Owenites set up the first co-operative schools nearly 200 years ago. 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.”
Published On: July 19, 2012
Written By: Natalie
Filed Under: Schools and Young People