Milestone in the rise of Co-operative education

The Co-operative Group-sponsored academies in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent have opened their doors to students for the first time, marking a major milestone in one of The Co-operative’s largest...

The academies have been set up to replace existing secondary schools which have operated in challenging circumstances. They will focus on providing students with a personalised and innovative education, equipping their young people with the skills they need for further studies and the world of work.

The opening this month of The Co-operative Academy at Brownhills, in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, and The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, in Higher Blackley, North Manchester, is a landmark in the long process of development which has taken place over the last few years. The projects are led by key individuals within The Co-operative Travel and The Co-operative Financial Services, with the Membership team supporting the delivery. 

“The opening of the academies is hugely exciting for the Group. A lot of hard work has gone into their development, including designing an innovative curriculum and ensuring the academies have the business support, tools and resources they need to raise student achievement,” said Russell Gill, the Group’s Head of Membership. 

“Both academies are underpinned by our co-operative values and principles, including self-help, equality, honesty and caring for others, which we believe will benefit academy students and staff alike,” he added.

The Co-operative Academy of Manchester is sponsored by The Co-operative Financial Services and specialises in finance and business. 

The academy is housed in a new £22.3 million building, equipped with the very latest equipment and technology. It has capacity for 1,020 students, and will cater for ages 11-19. 

Principal Kathy Leaver said: “The Co-operative Academy of Manchester is an inclusive and aspirational school, with traditional standards of respect, good behaviour and self-discipline placed in a modern context. We welcome students of all 

abilities and social backgrounds and we challenge them to achieve their best for themselves and the community around them.” 

The Co-operative Academy at Brownhills is sponsored by The Co-operative Travel and specialises in business, maths and computing. Students will learn in the building of the academy’s predecessor secondary school for the first two years and students will then move into a new, purpose-built academy building in September 2012. The new building will be able to accommodate 1,150 students, aged 11-19. 

Principal Andy Stanier commented: “We believe the key to success for all our students is to find an appropriate pathway for them, tailored to meet their individual needs. 

“Our students will leave us as confident individuals who have self-discipline, respect for and tolerance of others; it is of great importance to us that we nurture considerate citizens who are able to contribute positively to society.”

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