March 18, 2016

Message from Frank Norris, Director, Co-operative Academies Trust

The recent announcement by the Chancellor of the Government’s ambitious plans for all schools in England to become academies by 2022 has certainly put us in the spotlight.

The Co-operative Academies Trust has an enviable record of running academies and I believe our success is down to the level of importance which we place on effective leadership at all levels, a commitment to co-operation and high quality school improvement support.

There has been a significant increase in the level of interest in our trust over the past year and we have managed these enquiries discreetly. However, I am now expecting even more approaches in the next few weeks and months.

Having said that, we have a strategic plan that has been agreed by our trust board that we should grow to 14 academies by 2018. Clearly, following the Budget statement we may see the board readjust this figure but we will only do this after careful consideration, ensuring that any growth does not impact negatively on the great work being done by our existing eight academies.

Even if the number of academies we are looking to recruit were to increase, I am sure our strategy of only wanting to work with schools that have a strong commitment to the Co-op's values and principles and are a good geographical fit with our current localities of Leeds, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent will remain firmly in place.