Communicating the Co-op Values

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A group of Eastbank Primary pupils, in Glasgow, have agreed to help spread the co-operative message about how important values are in who you are and what you do!

CETS have employed them after hearing all about how giving “values” a personality and purpose have helped give “power to the pupil” in monitoring and modifying their own behavior.  When asked why they thought this programme had worked, the first answer was, “because it was fun”! The “fun” is in pupils exploring for themselves what theses values mean and where they see them in not just their everyday lives, but also in art drama, RME and storytelling, then sharing this new-found knowledge with others.

Click here to see what the character values look like – I particularly like Rebecca Responsibility”

Eastbank pupils have kindly agreed to look at the co-op values ( link to V and P page)  in the same way and come up with a toolkit for schools, to help them understand where to look for and find the co-op values anywhere from the Gorbals to Ghana! The toolkit will  possibly also help pupils understand what it means to be a co-operative and also how to use these values in setting up their own co-op.

We are at the start of a very exciting project, so keep checking to see how it is doing!

Scottish School of Co-operation

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Cardinal Newman High in Bellshill became our latest Scottish School of Co-operation.  The school were presented with their award by the Provost of North Lanarkshire, Jimmy Robertson, at an event in the school last week.  The Provost noted the area’s co-op connections, both current and historical.  The new co-op food distribution centre is a 5 minute drive from the school and Scotmid have had a presence since the 19th century through the old Dalziell Co-op.

Cardinal Newman are certainly not going for half measures as regards their SSC status.  They are working with Scotwest to create a credit union and organising at least another 2 young co-op enterprises.

There were 10 co-operative businesses (Co-operative Group Food, Pharmacy, Funeralcare and Membership, Scotmid, Green City, Media Co-op, Scotwest, West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op and Clansman Dynamics) supporting a speed networking event.  In particular, the 40 pupils starting out on their SQA Awards in Co-operative Studies were able to extract valuable information on how co-op businesses function and what makes them different from other types of enterprise.  They also learned the role played in the creation of the original James Bond character – Sean Connery having spent his initial years in employment with Scotmid.

We are hopeful that this event might prove to be the catalyst for developing SSC across North Lanarkshire.  The council has made a significant investment in developing co-operative teaching, so it would seem logical to want to teach about co-ops as part of that exercise.  The significant employer engagement and the use of co-ops as the context for cross curricular learning and teaching was also noted by senior educators.

The Co-operative Option in Education Conference

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The Co-operative Option in Education: Can we still measure what we value once the lunatics have taken over the asylum?

“Change in Scottish education has tended to focus on reforming the curriculum and assessment systems but has tended to ignore school governance…………there has been no change in overall governance arrangements for almost 100 years.”

Our society has changed drastically over the past century, yet some would argue, our schools are still organised the way factories were set up in Victorian times.  If we need to modernise what are the options and what does the co-operative model have to offer Co-operative academies have been supported in England to tackle inner city under performance.  Co-operative trust schools (in existence before the concept of “Free Schools”) have offered a democratic alternative to the marketization process in England.

The Co-operative Education Trust Scotland was established to work with the existing structures rather than create new ones and there has been no demand in Scotland for opting out. The “Owenstown” co-operative town proposal offers a blank canvas in terms of co-operative innovation in education

Those who believe in co-operative values and principles and that the co-operative model of enterprise is a viable alternative will present several options.

Register for the event at:

Speakers include:

Keir Bloomer – The Commission on School Reform

–           will address the governance issues highlighted in their Final Report.


Cllr Stephen Curran – Glasgow  City Council    

–          will explain the move towards becoming a Co-operative Council and how education will underpin that development and how that can be linked to The Scottish School of Co-operation offering from CETS.


Jim Arnold – Owenstown    

–          will share his vision for education within the new Lanarkshire co-operative town


Dave Boston – The Schools Co-operative Society     

–          will explain how co-operative trust schools have grown in England


Opportunities for postgrads to study co-ops and social enterprise

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Dr Silvia Sacchetti of the University of Stirling has created two postgraduate programmes for students interested in learning more about inclusive business practices, specifically co-operatives and social enterprises. In Dr Sacchetti’s words:

“Both are for students who have an interest in understanding how to build more inclusive societies through business and human relations. In the courses we do address cooperatives and social enterprises specifically, besides other more general considerations on business governance or human resource management. I am in fact happy to have introduced a different perspective to most of the students who have joined the programmes since their start in 2011. Most of my students from last year work for social enterprises, cooperatives and charities now.”

Further details can be found t the links below.

MSc International Business and Socio-Economic Development

MSc HRM and Socio-Economic Development

2013 MBS in Co-operative and Social Enterprise

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Details of a course that may be of interest to current and potential co-operators.




Celebrating Co-operation – Loudoun Academy’s Award Ceremony

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On Monday the 22 April, Loudoun Academy were presented with their plaque at an awards ceremony attended by parents, students, partners, The Director of Education Services as well as the Provost, to mark them becoming Scotland’s first School of Co-operation.

© This is a copyrighted image and must not be used in anyway without the express permission of Mike Scott Contact Phone- 07968 258392 e-mail-

Morag looking lovely as always.

It was a very co-operative event as the school was also giving awards to over 60 students who had volunteered up to 300 hours each in their local community!

LACE – the Young Co-operative in the school, also gave an excellent presentation about their business. They explained what it meant to them to be a young co-operative and how the values and principles shaped their business, as well as what they were doing to help others with their profits.

All the students’ presentation were very articulate and entertaining and an excellent time was had by all.  Many thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this event such a success!

Robert Owen House no more

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Friday marks the end of CETS’ time at Robert Owen House, Glasgow. We’re moving to the Co-operative Group’s new distribution centre in Newhouse. While sad to say goodbye to the building that has been our home since 2006, we’re excited by the change and work continues as normal. And you never know, a change of location might provide a vital spark of creativity for the year ahead!

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