Schools Co-operative Society

  • About Us

    The Co-operative movement has operated for over 160 years across a large number of fields, from finance to farming and retail.

    Over the last ten years a revolution in the way schools can operate and be organised has allowed the creation of an education sector of the UK Co-operative Movement.

    Just as the co-operative way of running a business, or association, presents an alternative to the more traditional 'plc' approach, Co-operative Schools offer an alternative way of educating our children by putting the community and needs of the stakeholders at the centre of the educational process.

    As the national body for the co-operative education sector, SCS co-ordinates, support and gives a voice to hundreds of Co-operative Trusts and Co-operative Academies across the UK.

    We work with CSNET, which is our dedicated network of four regional groupings working for our schools.

    We also work closely with a number of co-operative partners, including Coops UK - providing both local support for education in each region and a joined up national approach.


The establishment of the first co-operative society by the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844 was a significant moment in the history of the Co-operative Movement.

Co-operatives have a significant influence across the world on the lives of millions of  people – it could be argued that the Rochdale Pioneers  achieved just far more than they set out to do!

From the very early days, good education was seen as central to the development of the co-operative ideal.

The co-operative education sector has developed into a significant grouping with around 800 schools having chosen to adopt a Co-operative structure and engage all members of the learning community which they serve.

The Schools Co-operative Society was founded in 2009 to co-ordinate these schools and to provide a shared approach, vision and voice.

SCS Representative Board

SCS is formally registered as a Co-operative.

There is a Board of Trustees who meet to oversee strategy for developing the sector, promoting and advocating policies which are compatible with our values and principles.

The Board are elected and hold an Annual General Meeting each year to report on developments and their work.

The current members of the Board with their respective  regions shown are:

  • Andrew North (Co-opted)
  • Dave Bishop (Beaufort Academy, Gloucester) WEST
  • David Purslow (Martin Wilson School, Shrewsbury) CENTRAL
  • Deb Bacon (Co-opted)
  • Geoff Pettengell CENTRAL
  • Mark Williams (Co-opted)
  • Steve Baker (Tavistock College) WEST
  • Trisha Jaffe (Co-opted)

The next AGM is scheduled for January 2019

Our vision

As a co-operative owned by our member schools SCS aim to provide the professional support that will support a network of highly successful schools.

Our regional network arrangements through CSNET allow us to:

  • promote co-operative values and principles.
  • facilitate mutual support through sharing good practice.
  • develop collaborative learning between schools and their communities.
  • promote strong governance by building the skills and capacity of parents, students and staff to contribute
  • offer a wide range of services and support so that we truly represent best value and best practice