Statement of Joint Principles with Schools Co-operative Society

Statement of Joint Principles between the Schools Co-operative Society and the NASUWT


The Schools Co-operative Society (SCS) and NASUWT note the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly 64/136 proclaiming 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives:

“Recognizing that cooperatives, in their various forms, promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people, including women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples, are becoming a major factor of economic and social development and contribute to the eradication of poverty”,

The SCS and NASUWT also note the Rio+20 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) final declaration which highlights the role of cooperatives in contributing to social inclusion and poverty reduction in particular in developing countries.

The parties recognise the contribution that co-operatives can and are making to lifting and keeping people out of poverty through democratically owned enterprises as recognised in ILO recommendation 193 ‘Promoting Co-operatives’

The parties recognise the important contribution of the NASUWT as a democratic, inclusive and member-led representative trade union and respect the rights conferred on the Union and its members under domestic law, and relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

1 Introduction

1.1 The SCS and the NASUWT welcome the UN General Assembly resolution and share many common values believing that equality, solidarity, democracy and social responsibility should be the foundation of our education system.

1.2 Both parties have a strong common interest in working together to promote good employment and governance practices in schools and in ensuring that education and schools remain democratically-controlled and accountable for the public good.

1.3 Both parties fully support the ethos of co-operative schools which are based on the co-operative values and principles as agreed by the International Co-operative Alliance. The co-operatives values are: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity are central to this, and in the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

1.4 The Schools Co-operative Society and the NASUWT agree to work together to ensure that schools serve the best interests of children and young people, parents and carers, the workforce and the wider community.

1.5 The parties recognise that the co-operative models developed enable these key stakeholder groups to have a central role in the governance of schools, and as such will actively encourage their members to promote them.

2 The Parties

2.1 This statement of joint principles is between the following parties:

(a) The Schools Cooperative Society; and


3 Joint Principles

3.1 The Schools Co-operative Society and the NASUWT have a shared commitment to education as a democratically accountable public service which operates in the public interest.

3.2 We believe that high quality, fully funded state education is at the heart of a democratic and inclusive society. Schools are essential public services. They give expression to the needs and aspirations of individuals, communities and the wider society. The Schools Co-operative Society and the NASUWT express a joint commitment to ensuring that schools are democratically accountable, operate in the public interest, advance equality and social cohesion, are owned by the co-operative’s members and are managed and delivered in trust to the public.

3.3 We endorse without reservation the founding principles of public services: universal access, delivery according to need, services free at the point of use and services delivered for the public good and not for private profit.

3.4 In addition, we are committed to working together with schools to promote:

(i) access to all applicable national entitlements for the workforce in schools;
(ii) full and appropriate engagement, consultation and negotiation with the NASUWT;
(iii) recognition of the NASUWT;
(iv) membership and engagement in the NASUWT as part of our commitment to work with the trade union movement;
(v) membership and engagement in the Schools Co-operative Society.
4 Joint Commitment
4.1 The NASUWT and the Schools Cooperative Society are committed to working together to further and deepen our relationship over time in providing advice, information and support to schools.

4.2 Both parties will work together to promote to Schools Co-operative Society members solutions which facilitate democratic engagement and trade union representation.

4.3 Both organisations are committed to working together with openness, honesty, integrity and with respect for confidentiality.

4.4 The NASUWT will encourage its members to join and become active members of Schools Co-operative Society.

4.5 Whilst NASUWT remains opposed in principle to academies, where schools are consulting on conversion to academies, with the intention to convert, NASUWT will press such schools to use the co-operative model to safeguard stakeholder sovereignty in governance and public and community accountability.

4.6 The Schools Co-operative Society is committed to involving within its national and regional decision making structures representatives of the NASUWT.

4.7 The NASUWT is committed to involving within its national and/or local decision-making structures representatives of the Schools Cooperative Society.

4.8 The NASUWT and SCS will encourage its member schools to establish appropriate local arrangements for representation by the NASUWT and SCS.

5 Variation

5.1 Variation to this agreement will be by agreement between the Schools Cooperative Society and the NASUWT.

This Agreement is hereby signed by the Parties on 18 July 2012

Dave Boston
Chief Executive
Schools Cooperative Society

Chris Keates
General Secretary