Co-op Academies Trust one of the best for disadvantaged children for the fifth year

Co-op Academies Trust one of the best for disadvantaged children for the fifth year

A highly respected independent report has again highlighted the strong work Co-op Academies Trust is doing in the economically challenging areas in which it operates.

The influential Sutton Trust’s annual report on the performance of academy chains shows that for the fifth year the Co-op achieved above average outcomes in terms of progress for disadvantaged students.

The report focuses on 58 academy trusts and analyses how well students have progressed and how highly they have attained. It makes clear that the Co-op Academies Trust makes strong progress overall with students who join their academies having the third lowest attainment and the fourth highest level of disadvantage within the 58 trusts analysed.

Frank Norris, Director of the Trust, said “We knew from our own analysis that we were doing well but it is very reassuring to have it verified by the highly respected Sutton Trust.

“We deliberately focus on improving student progress because we know some of our students need to make better than average progress to catch up.

“We have a unique relationship with our sponsor, The Co-op and together we have begun to break the generational cycle of restricted aspiration in some of the north’s most challenging communities.”

The report recommends that the government encourages trusts to share their practice with others and further research be undertaken into the impact of the EBacc, a group of more academic subjects, to see whether this is forcing some students into academic programmes which may not best serve their needs.

“I agree with many of the recommendations, and have been championing an Ofsted inspection framework for multi academy trusts for a number of years. I am pleased to see that this is about to be introduced. As a Co-op we are obviously willing to share what we do with others,” Frank Norris added.

“We also agree that schools on their own cannot make the changes required to achieve a step change in social mobility. As an organisation, we have a growth strategy that will see more disadvantaged communities supported by our Trust and benefit from the many community engagement links provided by the Co-op.”