Opt in to Co-op schools meet at Astley Cooper

13/9/2011'Eddie Gaynor, new head teacher at Astley Cooper School, Hemel Hempstead.
13/9/2011'Eddie Gaynor, new head teacher at Astley Cooper School, Hemel Hempstead.

School staff, parents, governors and neighbours are being asked for their views on a new proposal which has been described as an ‘exciting new development for Dacorum’.

Plans by Hemel Hempstead’s Longdean, Adeyfield and Astley Cooper Schools to join forces into an innovative co-operative learning trust are open for consultation, with a public meeting planned for Monday evening.

The idea will be the first of its kind in West Herts – but elsewhere in the county two Letchworth secondary schools have come together into a single trust, as have Royston Upper and Middle schools. It will involve Adeyfield and Astley Cooper Schools adopting foundation school status and working collaboratively together and with Longdean, which will retain academy status.

No staffing arrangements are expected to be changed at any of the schools as part of the proposal which, if implemented, would come into effect on June 1.

A public letter from head teachers Scott Martin of Adeyfield, Eddie Gaynor of Astley Cooper and Graham Cunningham of Longdean, inviting people to the open meeting, says: “The partners in the East Dacorum Co-Operative Learning Trust want to develop in all students the academic and social skills needed to contribute to and shape the communities they are part of throughout their lives. We believe that to achieve this we need to work collaboratively, building on the existing strong relationships between the schools, rather than acting alone.”

Herts County Council cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills Chris Hayward said: “We welcome and encourage the diversity and autonomy of Hertfordshire schools and increasingly we are seeing schools joining together in a range of local partnerships such as this to support each other in raising educational standards in a local area.

“I wish Adeyfield, Astley Cooper and Longdean well in this exciting new development for Dacorum.”

Details of how to make comments on the proposals can be found on each of the schools’ websites. The public meeting will be held at The Astley Cooper School in St Agnells Lane, Grovehill, at 6.30pm on Monday.