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Co-op schools will be ‘stronger together than the sum of our parts’

Head teachers of Longdean, Adeyfield and Astley Cooper schools. From left: Graham Cunningham, Scott Martin and Eddie Gaynor

Head teachers of Longdean, Adeyfield and Astley Cooper schools. From left: Graham Cunningham, Scott Martin and Eddie Gaynor

Three Hemel Hempstead schools who say working together will improve opportunities for their pupils and the wider community have officially adopted co-operative trust status.

The East Dacorum Co-operative Learning Trust was formally created last week and will allow its founding partners – Longdean, Adeyfield and Astley Cooper Schools – to pool skills and resources for the benefit of students, staff and people in the local area.

The Trust is the first of its kind in West Herts, with only two others in the rest of the county having been created in Letchworth and Royston.

The idea was first floated by the Hemel Hempstead establishments last July, and – after a lengthy consultation process – is now in existence with plans to develop a number of projects and programmes, as well as a launch event in September.

Longdean head Graham Cunningham said: “This Co-op is a genuinely exciting model for the schools and communities we serve, because we are stronger together than the sum of our parts.

“The national picture for education means it is easy for schools to become insular, but as a group we can improve our own schools and enhance the life chance of all our young people. This way we get support from our own trust, our partners and from the Co-op movement itself.”

Hemel Hempstead’s Rotary Club, the University of Hertfordshire, Roundwood Park School and Herts for Learning have shown strong interest in becoming trustees, as well as former chair of governors and BP executive Ian Harrison. The Trust’s initial plans involve linking with two primary schools each, running IT courses by teachers for nearby residents, and developing a best practice model for staff across all three schools.

 

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