Cooperative Schools

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In the UK

Pat Conaty:

"Over the past seven years there has been a Co-operative schools movement in England - partly to prevent privatisation drives by the right and on the other hand to radically alter education in primary and secondary level schools.

What has been key to the success of this Co-op schools movement in England has been a public-social partnership and a multi-stakeholder model that includes teachers and parents and the local authority and the trade unions in the forward planning and the design. This horizontal approach to widening and linking up democracy in action has worked so well for social co-operatives in Italy for health, care services and education and it is a winning formula here for education.

The forthcoming NEF report on reinventing public services acknowledges the transformative model of the Co-operative schools. Also like in Italy for social co-operatives, the mezzo-economic level of focus between the micro and the macro levels is proving to be generative space that has been neglected and trampled upon by the nation state in the UK - sadly Tony Blair and New Labour also did lots to trampling on local government.

Co-operatives UK is doing its first Blueprint report for the Co-operative decade strategy. The report is being called 10% Co-op - the aim being to move the Co-op sector of the UK economy from 2% of GDP to 10% over the decade. Italy is at 10% GDP by comparison. Finland is at 19% GDP." (email, June 2014)