Modern slavery statement

This statement is made pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, for the financial year ending 31 August 2018. This statement was approved by the Trust Board on 06 December 2018.

Co-op Academies Trust (the Trust) is a growing Multi-Academy Trust, sponsored by the Co-op. At August 2018, it comprised twelve academy schools located in Leeds, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent, around 1,300 employees and an annual turnover in excess of £36m. It procures services and goods from third party providers predominantly based within the UK.

In line with our co-operative values and the actions of our sponsor, the Trust is committed to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking within any part of its business or supply chain.

Anti-slavery & human trafficking policy
The Trust’s Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy was produced in consultation with key stakeholders and recognised Trade Unions, and approved by the Trust Board in April 2017. It is published on our website here.

Raising awareness
All colleagues were briefed when the policy was launched, and academies have been requested to include this in the induction process for all new staff. A video has been made available to support this.

Throughout the year, various communications / activities have taken place to raise awareness with both colleagues and pupils / students; for example, the Co-op has provided lessons on practical human trafficking issues to our academies.

The Trust’s most senior employee attends the Greater Manchester Modern Slavery Network meetings.

Due diligence in relation to slavery & human trafficking in its business
The Trust employs people solely within England. Our recruitment processes are set out in our Safer Recruitment Policy and ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK. A copy of the policy is on our website here:

Each academy has an annual safeguarding audit, conducted by an independent safeguarding consultant.

Due diligence in relation to slavery & human trafficking in its supply chain
The Trust’s Financial Regulations include reference to the Modern Slavery Act in relation to procurement.

Focus in our academies on slavery & human trafficking
All our academies work towards raising awareness of slavery & human trafficking through:

  • Educating colleagues, pupils & students, and parents / carers
  • Child protection / family support work, where human trafficking has been highlighted as a high risk in some academies.

Here are some examples from a few of our academies:

Safeguarding: worked on a case where there was evidence of a child being trafficked into the country to work in a takeaway. This was shared with staff. All year 9 students participated in a PSHE day which covered CSE and grooming.
Co-op’s Policy & Campaigns Director was keynote speaker at prize evening on the topic of human trafficking; multi stakeholders present including parents, governors, students.

We are committed to the Trust Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Policy and a copy of the policy is included in the induction process for all new staff who join the academy. The academy is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking present in any part of its core business, and insists on only using ethical suppliers for uniform and other areas of purchase.

Assemblies have focused on the challenges and issues it brings in modern Britain and awareness is raised through internal meetings with key stakeholders and through the work of our Co-op Co-ordinator. The academy child protection arrangements also include reference to this subject, and citizenship, and has focused on this in the curriculum. In addition, there was a County Lines focus week in family times (video clip being shown to all pupils); Prison ‘me no way’ service are coming in after half term to talk to Year 10 pupils about knife crime and gang culture; and Phoenix came in last year to talk to pupils about sexual exploitation which can fall under the umbrella of people trafficking and modern slavery.

In line with the Trust’s policy, the school works to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking through the PHSE curriculum. It is taught explicitly in upper key stage 2 through topics on human rights and discrimination and implicitly in lower year groups through developing an understanding of equality, society, identity and democracy.

Staff are made aware of human trafficking issues through the sharing of the Trust’s policy, in-house CP training, and sharing of the local council’s ‘one minute guide information on child trafficking’. Through attendance at local community core groups, school has access to support from local agencies and access to the Local Authority help-line which links to the city council’s modern slavery strategy. This strategy gives the school access to the local picture and is used as guidance to support the school in prevention. The school also uses the modern slavery register as a tool to help choose new supplies and contractors.

In year admissions are strictly monitored as regarding documentation and paperwork, such as birth certificates of the children and parents/carers, passports and relevant visa to ensure that there is no risk of human trafficking and to ensure that any child that is starting our school, from out of the country is accompanied with their legal guardian.

Educating pupils takes place via a variety of mediums, for example assemblies on CSE and child labour. Also through the curriculum we look at specific topics in Geography, History and RS regarding historical and current slavery and human trafficking. We have a thorough PSHCE programme plan, which is planned according to the PSHE Association’s programme of study. Lessons include some specialist resources made by ‘Stop the Traffik’.


Russell Gill
Chair of Trust Board