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Leaders of the future

200,000 students in co-operative schools: are these our leaders of the future?

A recent report by Co-operatives UK, entitled ‘The UK co-operative economy 2012: alternatives to austerity’, notes that co-operatives are outperforming the wider economy, highlighting one particularly vibrant sector – co-operative schools.

Since 2008, when the first co-operative Trust school was established in Reddish Vale, Stockport, co-operative Trusts and Academies have spread rapidly across England, heralded as offering a more democratic and less top-down alternative to the current school system. Co-operative schools in England are the latest in an international movement of co-operative schools, long-established in parts of the world ranging from Spain to the USA.

Co-operative schools embed the values and principles into every aspect of school life, from their membership structure to curriculum and pedagogy. There are now an astonishing 200,000-plus students in more than 200 co-operative schools across England, connecting a whole new generation with the co-operative values and principles.