Three new schools to join the Co-op Academies Trust

Earlier this year the Co-op Group announced it would commit a further £3.6m into its academies programme

The Co-op Academies Trust has just welcomed three new schools to the fold.

On 1 December, two primaries – Co-op Academy Friarswood, in Newcastle Under Lyme, and Co-op Academy Woodslee, Birkenhead, signed up to the trust, alongside Co-op Academy Walkden, a secondary in Salford.

Earlier this year, the Co-op Group committed a further £3.6m into its academies programme with the aim to have 40 academies operating across the north of England by 2022.

Since then six new academies, two secondary and four primary have joined the trust. The Group is now sponsoring a total of 18 academies, making it the UK’s largest sponsor of academies. The trust has been working to improve the performance of the weak schools it has taken over, all of which are now rated as at least “good” by Ofsted.

Frank Norris, director of the Co-op Academies Trust, said: “We look to help those communities that have the greatest educational challenges and need additional help to support their young people. The effect of a good school that was previously failing or weak is immense in regenerating communities and we have established a great track record of turning around schools, which were previously struggling.

“The trust has demonstrated that co-operative values and principles, strong governance and the ability to leverage the support of the Co-op in areas such as brand, communications, HR, property, insurance and IT, can have a dramatic impact on school improvement.

“Co-op colleagues serve as school governors and provide mentoring and careers advice along with work placement support. A step change increase in the number of trust academies will improve efficiency, provide better value for money, increase the scale and variety of school improvement services and enhance effectiveness for existing academies.”

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