The Acorn Cooperative Learning Alliance

The governing bodies of Banham, Bunwell, Bressingham, East Harling and Kenninghall Schools have all elected to change school category, from Community School into a Foundation School with trust status.

The schools have long collaborated with each other and share many similar characteristics relating to size, rural location, being central parts of their communities and committed to the best possible outcomes for children. Over time, this collaboration has widened to encompass other local partner schools who also share similar characteristics, such as Carleton Rode, Old Buckenham High and other schools further afield such as Chapel Road School


 Why Trust Status?  

We want to build upon the good work the schools have done together over the last 5 years.  

We see our model as an opportunity to:

  • Raising attainment in our schools
  • Develop learning and life skills for our pupils
  • Promote a diverse society
  • Make efficient and effective use of human resources and expertise across the schools
  • Make good use of collective bargaining power in purchasing common resources
  • Acquire a sharper focus on sustainability & environmental issues

What is a Co-operative Trust School?  

The “Co-operative School Trust” model enables schools to set themselves up as co-operatives, following co-operative values and principles.

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 their ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.

The ethos of the Schools in The Acorn Alliance align well with co-operative values and principles of the co-operative movement.

As co-operative trust schools we able to become members of the Schools Co-operative Society (SCS). SCS is the fastest growing network of schools across England and is itself a co-operative of co-operative schools. Being part of a national cooperative schools organisation will be of great assistance as we try to navigate our schools through the rapidly changing educational landscape facing all mainstream schools. We will also be able to participate in a strong international network of co-operative schools.



 As Trust schools…

In each school, the following will stay the same…

The schools will still:

  • Teach the National Curriculum
  • Receive funding through the Local Authority
  • Follow the Schools’ Admission Code
  • Be inspected by OFSTED
  • Have a Governing Body which will be responsible for the strategic direction of the school
  • Employ all staff on the same terms and conditions.

In each school, only the following will change…

  • The Governing Body will employ the staff.
  • The School’s assets (both grounds and buildings) will be held by the Trust for each individual school.
  • The Trust will appoint additional Governors to support each school’s Governing Body, and the Trust will set up a Members’ Forum to represent the views of all members.