THE largest educational co-operative trust in Britain – and possibly the second largest in the world – has been officially launched in Helston.
It involves 18 schools, 4,000 pupils, hundreds of teachers and one aim: to achieve more by working together.
It means an unprecedented level of co-operation between the two comprehensive schools, Helston and Mullion, and all but five of the primary schools in the Helston-Lizard and surrounding area.
Funding will still come from the Government via Cornwall Council but be filtered through the trust to meet the schools’ needs.
Each school will contribute towards projects but how much they pay will depend on their size.
Brett Dye, head teacher at Helston’s Parc Eglos CP School and chairman of the new trust’s teaching and learning group, told teachers, parents and children at Monday’s launch: “It is about 4,000 children and giving them the best education we can.
“I think there is so much we can achieve by working together.”
Cherry Hawker, head at nearby Trannack School, added that each of the 18 schools involved would continue to retain its own identity, individual ethos and characteristics.
The chairman of the new trust is Andrew Upton, pro rector of University College Falmouth, which is one of the trust’s partners.
He said: “Achieving more by working together summarises the vision and aim of the trust which is that, by working together in a co-operative partnership, more can be achieved by our children, young people and families than can be achieved by working alone.
“With 18 primary and secondary schools and seven external partner organisations we are the largest co-operative education trust in the UK and thought to be the second largest in the world.
“The trust schools educate more than 4,000 pupils and we will be working to be a catalyst for community cohesion.
“We will provide the best possible education within our schools by sharing expertise and making the most of all our resources.”
He also spoke of the importance of involving pupils – past and present – parents, carers, staff and, especially, the local community in the new trust.
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