Closer is better for Co-op

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

A trio of headteachers who have pioneered the first co-operative education trust in West Herts say the innovative project has seen a successful first term.

The formation of the East Dacorum Co-operative Learning Trust earlier this year has seen Hemel Hempstead’s Adeyfield, Astley Cooper and Longdean schools working in even closer collaboration, providing greater opportunities for pupils in areas including social and community skills and preparing for the world of work.

The decision was taken after a series of consultation events held with students, staff, parents and the wider community, and officially came into existence in July.

According to headteachers Scott Martin of Adeyfield, Graham Cunningham of Longdean and Astley Cooper’s Eddie Gaynor, the Trust has already begun to develop a number of projects.

The Trust’s board – made up of representatives from Roundwood Park School, BP, Rotary Club, University of Hertfordshire, The Cooperative Society & Herts for 
Learning – has met twice to help formulate the new schemes.

Students in Year 11 from the three schools are now benefitting from close collaboration to deliver the IGCSE in English – working together to develop materials, run revision days and moderate coursework for the benefit of the students, while Adeyfield and Longdean are also collaborating closely on the delivery of Geography for all students.

Mr Gaynor said: “I am delighted byhow much we have already achieved in such a short period of time. These projects are already showing that the Trust is committed to delivering opportunities for all of our students.”

Mr Cunningham also said of the Trust’s aim to develop best practice across schools: “This is a really exciting opportunity for each school to provide targeted challenge and support for each other so that all the schools benefit by developing their own practice.”

This aspect of the partnership will form Manchester University PhD research on co-operatives.

Additionally, from 2015 parents and the wider community will have the opportunity to sharpen their ICT skills when Astley Cooper will host an adult learning ICT course delivered by staff from all three partner schools– details of which will be published on the schools’ websites.