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Professional Voice

Our work includes representation and lobbying on education issues. We have worked alongside NGA, the major education unions and many others to address the funding crisis, the need for Ofsted inspection reforms, the need to focus on provision rather than ideology in school provision… and much more besides.

We are proud to have had a formal agreement in place since 2013 with all TUC-recognised education unions, setting out principles of good practice in public service education as employers and as service providers.

We regularly communicate with all major political parties and their education teams, helping to advise on forward thinking and values-driven education policy.

As a result, SCS and CSNET are recognised by many bodies as having a key role in shaping the education landscape. Ofsted inspectors will often recognise the impact of collaboration and partnership within a co-operative framework within their reporting and have supported our work in other ways.

“The school’s work with the other schools in the Coastal Alliance Cooperative Trust and the local authority adviser enables teachers to check the accuracy of their assessments and share good practice. This work also underpins the school’s vision and values. Leaders are outward looking and keen to learn from the most up-to-date research.”
Ofsted Report 2018

What makes a cooperative a cooperative?

As the national representative body for cooperative education providers and learning communities, this can be challenging to explain and sometimes even harder to gauge. There are many interpretations of “cooperation” – but the definitive explanation of a cooperative is simple:

Definition of a Co-operative

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

International Cooperative Alliance


Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

For those interested in finding out more about the Co-operative Values and principles and how they are applied, we recommend visiting the website of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Here you will find the definitive explanation of Cooperatives, the Cooperative Values and Principles. Does your school meet or want to meet these standards?

Get in touch and let’s talk about why this could work for your learning community.