Honley High School has resisted the Government’s drive for all schools to become academies.
But it will change its status after school officials confirmed that it is to become a Co-operative Trust school from September 1.
It will be run by the charitable Honley Co-operative Learning Trust.
The move was made by the school’s governing body after four months of consultation.
Co-operative Trust schools are state-funded schools linked to the Co-operative movement, founded in Lancashire in 1844 which supports common ownership, or mutualism and democratic process where local people have a say in their school.
There are more than 570 Co-operative Trust schools in Britain and they have been described as “the antidote to academies.”
Unlike academies, they remain within the local authority.
A spokesman for Honley High said: “Parents and carers, staff, students and local community organisations can become members and contribute to making decisions about how the school can improve opportunities for children, families and communities.
“Supported by the Co-operative Group, the Trust will also have other local partners – The Co-operative Movement, One17 Design, Heads Together Productions and Kirklees Council. The school hopes that more partners will join over the next few months.”
Headteacher Paul Greenough said: “I would like to thank all those who were part of the process of Honley becoming a Co-operative Trust school – to all of our students and staff, parents and community who responded to the Trust questionnaire and who attended the consultation meetings.
“We feel that the Honley community is one that wants to become involved and indeed has much to say.”Chair of governors Jan Wallis said: “The educational landscape is changing very rapidly. Governors at Honley High School are excited by the opportunities our new status will bring. “We feel that by working closely with our partners, we can all help our school to be more successful in raising standards and aspirations and increase opportunities for our students and the community”.
Dave Boston, chief executive of the Schools Co-operative Society, said: “The values-led approach embedded in co-operative Trusts has been one of the main attractions to heads and governors looking for an ethical alternative among new school models.
“We’re delighted that there continues to be a surge in interest in co-operative schools, as not only does it mean more schools working together to share expertise it means students across the country can learn about the values in principles of co-operation in school, then take them with them out into the wider world of work to become the co-operators of tomorrow.”
Since 2008, The Co-operative College (part of the Co-op group) has worked with schools to develop a co-operative trust model for schools.
A trust school is supported by a charitable foundation, or ‘trust’. Unlike an academy, a trust school remains under local authority control, but with more say on various issues.
The co-operative model employs a “bottom up” democratic approach, where parents and members of the local community can get involved and have a real say in how the school is run. Expertise is shared among all schools within the co-operative movement.
According to the co-operative schools website: “Co-operatives the world over share the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.
“The experience of the schools that have adopted co-operative governance models demonstrates that, through the adoption of these values, children and
young people can gain a better understanding of their role as citizens and how they can help build a fairer society.”
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