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: http://coopeducation.eventbrite.co.uk/

Speakers include:

Keir Bloomer – The Commission on School Reform

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

–           http://www.cspp.org.uk/images/bydiversemeans.pdf

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.

–          http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/

Jim Arnold – Owenstown    

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

–          http://www.owenstown.org/

Dave Boston – The Schools Co-operative Society     

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

–          http://www.co-operativeschools.coop/

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.

 

 

MBS

Celebrating Co-operation – Loudoun Academy’s Award Ceremony

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Morag

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- mike@mikescottphotographer.com

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!

Co-operatives and Capital

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The following details a lecture that CETS delivered as part of its knowledge exchange project (supported by Co-operative Development Scotland).

Module delivery: This session was delivered as part of the a postgraduate business qualification at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operatives and Capital

Duration: Including a Q&A session, the lecture was one hour in duration.

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at financing options for small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Content: The lecture assumed no previous knowledge of co-operatives. Firstly, a brief thought exercise was conducted; it is designed to get students thinking about the relationship between capital and labour in a business. Depending on questions, this exercise usually lasts between 10-15 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder athttp://s.coop/162hh.

The context is set by looking at the co-operative model of enterprise in general before dealing with the topic at hand. This includes a discussion of core co-operative characteristics such as values and principles, ownership, governance, and surplus. The lecture then proceeds by communicating key co-operative statistics, both global and the UK; this section concludes  by looking at some of the benefits of co-operatives in terms of economic and social factors (for example, productivity and wealth inequality). The introduction to co-operatives is concluded by examining a particular type of co-operative: worker-owned businesses.

The uses of co-operatives are then discussed, followed by the main elements to consider when setting up a co-operative. The specific capital requirements of these types of enterprises are then discussed, in particular the role of shares in a co-operative and the attitude of banks. The lecture concludes by covering a number of relevant case studies, as well as ways in which students/graduates can get involved in co-operatives.

The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operatives and Capital

Additional resources:

Co-operative Entrepreneurship – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information on how to set up a co-operative enterprise
http://s.coop/1fz8v

Simply Finance – an online resource by the UK’s trade body for co-operatives
http://s.coop/3biv

Co-operative and Community Finance – a significant source of funding for co-ops in the UK
http://s.coop/23t2

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

Co-operative Enterprise – The Invisible Giant

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The following details a lecture that CETS delivered as part of its knowledge exchange project (supported by Co-operative Development Scotland).

Module delivery: This session was delivered as part of the three-year undergraduate Business Studies degree at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operative Enterprise – The Invisible Giant

Duration: Including a Q&A session, the lecture was 50 minutes in duration.

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at micro-finance and co-operatives.

Content: The lecture assumed a basic level of knowledge of co-operatives. Firstly, a brief thought exercise was conducted; it is designed to get students thinking about the relationship between capital and labour in a business. Depending on questions, this exercise usually lasts between 10-15 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder athttp://s.coop/162hh.

The context is set by looking at the co-operative model of enterprise in comparison with the investor-owned and social enterprise models. This includes a discussion of core co-operative characteristics such as values and principles, ownership, governance, and surplus. The lecture then proceeds by communicating the types of co-operative businesses as well as the sectors they operate in. The next section examines some advantages and disadvantages of co-operatives before concluding with a look at key national and international co-operative statistics. The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operative Enterprise_The Invisible Giant

Additional resources:

Democratic Enterprise – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information about democratic forms of enterprise
http://s.coop/1i7ns

The UK Co-operative Economy 2012 – facts and infographics from today’s lecture
http://s.coop/q0uq

Join the Co-op Future – a 4 minute film that offers a snapshot of the co-operative sector in Scotland
http://s.coop/1i7oy

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

Co-operating for Business Success in the Creative Industries

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The following details a lecture that CETS delivered as part of its knowledge exchange project (supported by Co-operative Development Scotland).

Module delivery: This session was delivered as part of the BA in Applied Enterprise course at the University of the West of Scotland.

Topic: Co-operative Enterprise and the Creative Industries

Duration: Including a Q&A session, the lecture was one and a quarter hours in duration.

Relevance to module: This lecture built on previous sessions looking at partnerships and small businesses in the creative industries.

Content: The lecture assumed no previous knowledge of co-operatives. Firstly, a brief thought exercise was conducted; it is designed to get students thinking about the relationship between capital and labour in a business. Depending on questions, this exercise usually lasts between 15-20 minutes. See The Meaning of Ownership folder at http://s.coop/162hh.

The context is set by looking at the co-operative model of enterprise in general before dealing with the topic at hand. This includes a discussion of core co-operative characteristics such as values and principles, ownership, governance, and surplus. The lecture then proceeds by communicating key co-operative statistics, both global and the UK.

The next section focuses on the practical uses of co-operatives in the creative industries, in particular how they are used to share resources, risk and rewards. Some real-world examples of why entrepreneurs choose the co-op model are covered. Time is then spent examining the seven key design elements of a co-operative and how you would set up a business according to these elements. Interspersed throughout are case studies of successful co-operatives operating in the creative industries. The lecture concludes with some suggested discussion questions. The lecture slides are provided below:

Co-operating for Business Success in the Creative Industries

Additional resources:

Co-operative Entrepreneurship – an ebook and VLE aimed at students/graduates containing information on how to set up a co-operative enterprise http://cets.coop/moodle/course/view.php?id=4

Start a co-operative – an online resource by the UK’s trade body for co-operatives http://www.uk.coop/start-co-op

Join the Co-op Future – a 4 minute film that offers a snapshot of the co-operative sector in Scotland http://vimeo.com/43665118

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cets

http://www.cets.coop/moodle

UK Co-operative Education Conference 2013

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Featuring presentations of research and innovative practice spanning twenty-three countries and five continents, participants will have opportunities to learn from a wide range of researchers, practitioners, and educators. All presenters are engaged in challenging and innovating pedagogy, policy, and practice through co-operative learning and co-operation.

The Transformative Power of Co-operation in Education is organised by the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE) with support from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hull, England and the International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE). For over 30 years, the IASCE has led the way in highlighting and disseminating research and practice in co-operative learning and co-operation in education. The 2013 conference will be located at the University of Hull Scarborough Campus, situated beside the sea and overlooking the attractive town of Scarborough, with easy access to spectacular countryside and historic cities.

Participants will have the opportunity to become immersed in a conference design that is both innovative and interactive. Through dynamic engagement, delegates will be able to experience first-hand the power of co-operation to support dialogue, reflection and spirited exchange, as well as develop new networks and friendships.

More details can be found in the conference flyer – Conference Flyer final March 2013

Making 2013 a great year for Co-op Education

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Diarmuid

‘What could be important in this co-operative initiative is not what is accomplished but what it is intended to do.’
– José María Arizmendiarrieta

One of the key messages of the UN 2012 Year of Co-operatives was to see the celebration not as an ending but as a beginning. We have taken that to heart at CETS and have a variety of activities, resources and projects planned for 2013 that will hopefully improve co-operative education in Scotland and the UK.

  • The first cohort of students will be completing the inaugural SQA Awards in Co-operative Studies in 2013. Offered at levels 4, 5 and 6, the qualification provides secondary students with a detailed understanding of the core historical, social and organisational topics relating to co-operatives. We are working on promoting these awards to other Scottish secondary schools in the year ahead.
  • 2012 saw the development of our interactive online resource on the Commonwealth Games. The Co-operative Games: Succeeding together is aimed at upper primary/early secondary level pupils and covers a variety of topics within the Curriculum for Excellence. We will continue to promote? this resource in the run-up to the 2014 Games.
  • We are always seeking to develop relevant, interesting learning and teaching resources on co-operatives and 2013 will continue this trend. The end of the summer will see the launch of a resource on ‘making your school co-operative’. Loudoun Academy became the first “Scottish School of Co-operation -SSC”. We are now building on our work to create the first cluster of SSC schools in Edinburgh and the first Primary SSC in Angus. We also have plans for a second resource but we’re still at the idea generation stage; any ideas/suggestions are welcome at info@cets.coop.

2013 will also be also a big year for us in relation to our work at tertiary level:

  • In co-operation with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), we are organising a series of screenings of the US employee ownership film, We The Owners, across 3 or 4 Scottish Universities. Open to students, academics, local business people, and co-operators, the screenings will take place during late February, early March; contact info@cets.coop if interested in attending.
  • March will see the completion of an innovative project, supported by Co-operatives UK, to establish a co-operative providing employment to students from a Scottish university. Student-owned and led, the new co-operative will be launched in late March and will be based on a successful model from Mondragón Corporation in the Basque Country.
  • Finally, work continues, thanks to the support of CDS, on disseminating the outputs of a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between CETS and the University of Aberdeen. These outputs include an academic textbook, a collection of essays, an entrepreneurship guide for students/graduates, and a virtual learning environment. We are also delivering a series of lectures across Scottish universities, in particular with the University of the West of Scotland.

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