Being a Co-operative Academy
Following consultation Cotham Gardens Primary School converted to being an academy in September 2012.
Although conversion to academy status brings positive change, including vital financial benefits, it is also essential to ensure that the special characteristics of the school are fostered and encouraged, and local accountability to parents and the community is maintained. Therefore the governors agreed that the best academy model to follow is the 'Co-operative' one. This uniquely offers the general advantages whilst enshrining various safeguards for the school and its ethos, and provides a way of strengthening links with the community and beyond.
What is a co-operative academy trust?
There are a number of important characteristic of being a Co-operative academy. These include
- signing up to the Co-operative movement values and principles,
- encouraging all parents, staff, pupils and members of the local community to become Members, sharing the ‘ownership’ of the school, and
- holding a consultative Forum, a regular meeting of elected stakeholders to give voice to their views and opinions.
As a Co-operative academy, Cotham Gardens is signed up to the Co-operative movement values and principles. These are our guiding principles, and the Governors believe that they strengthen what it is about Cotham Gardens that makes it so special.
Sam Williams is our lead staff member for all things Co-operative. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who is a parent, a staff member, or lives in the local community can become a Member, provided they agree to abide by the Co-operative values.
We have also formed a body called the Forum. This will be made up of about thirty elected representatives from our school community, including parents, staff, learners and the local community. It meets 3 times a year with Governors and enables elected stakeholders to give voice to their views and opinions. The Forum will decide on many of its own issues such as how the meetings are to be operated, which other community organisations to work with, and how to publicise its work.
These three governing elements of Members, Governors and Forum will be a strong check to any future changes in the nature of the Cotham Gardens Co-operative Academy and will, where possible, keep its 'ethos' at the centre of future decision making.
How to get involved
If you are a parent, staff member, former pupil or live or work within one mile of the school you can become a member NOW!
You might also like to consider becoming a member of one of the new governing groups. If you have previously felt that being a Governor was too time consuming, it might be that the Forum is a more useful option (with its 3 meeting a year)? Or perhaps you would be happy to attend the annual Members’ meeting and express your views there? Or you might prefer to put yourself up for election to the Governing Body as a parent/carer or community constituent?
The consultation process that led the Governing Body to its decision to become a Co-operative academy was an enlightening one, made productive by the contributions of many parents and other members of the school community. We hope that you will continue to support the school as we strengthen further what makes it a success, and that you will actively participate in managing its exciting future as a Co-operative academy.
School Forum Meetings
You can download the minutes from the School Forum meeting on the forum page.
This term's Co-operative Forum meeting took place on Thursday 25th October and was very useful. A link to the minutes is on the Forum page.
The School's Funding Agreement and Articles of Association
As an Academy the rules under which the school operates and is governed are set out in its Funding Agreement and Articles of Association, which you can download by clicking here.