The Anglo European Co-operative Trust (AECT)

On 1 June 2011 The Anglo European School became a Co-operative Educational Trust.  The government had introduced legislation allowing educational trusts to be established enabling schools to work formally with partners. 

The vision was to introduce a seamless 5-19 curriculum informed by an international dimension and to achieve this using the four IB programmes – Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme and Career Programme.  The title does not refer to the Anglo European School because other schools were to be involved and the onus was on the development and furtherance of the “anglo european” ethos rather than the Anglo European School. This vision is as relevant now as it was then. 

The Trust took ownership of the school’s land and assets and then provided a 125 year lease back to the school to conduct education.  This was deliberate.  The governors wanted to protect the school and guarantee its independence. 

There are over 1000 Co-operative trusts in the country each of which has committed to a set of values enshrined in their Funding Agreement.  Schools which are not ‘co-operative schools’ do not have a values statement in their Funding Agreement.  The trusts are co-ordinated by the Schools Co-operative Society (No. 31278R). 

Co-operative values are based on self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.  The movement believes in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. . In the words of one senior Co-operative College representative at the time “these values resonate with those of your school”.  As a values-driven school with a strong tradition in citizenship and an international ethos, this decision was an easy one to make, and it meant the Anglo could become an academy in a manner of its own choosing. 

Becoming a co-operative trust school appealed to us because it was different and more in keeping with our ethos as a school. The co-operative governance structure recognises five constituencies which are each represented on the Forum .  

‘I am honoured and privileged to be a Trustee for the Anglo European Co-operative Trust which provides an invaluable support network of committed partners who have a shared vision of developing opportunities and experiences throughout the trust. As part of this role it has been exciting working in partnership with local schools, businesses and the wider community in order to have a positive impact on the lives of children and young people.’

Neil Taggart, Chair – Anglo European Co-operative Trust

‘I am very proud to be a Trustee for the Anglo European Co-operative Trust as well as Co-operative Governor, as an elected director and representative of Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society. The Anglo and Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society have enjoyed a mutually beneficial and co-operative partnership for a number of years. Anglo European School demonstrates strong co-operative values & principles on a daily basis, and this is embedded within the school’s curriculum and culture.’ 

Olly Young, Chelmsford Co-operative Star & Vice-chair, Anglo European Co-operative Trust

The constituencies are as follows; 

Alumni – this is recognised via an email network with over 800 members currently.  

Community – we chose to formally recognise the termly meetings with members of the Parish Council as well as regular meetings with heads of our local ‘feeder’ schools.  These meetings represent the ‘community constituency’. 

Parents – we decided to enhance the role of the School Association in order to recognise them as the official representative of the parent constituency.  In 2014 their constitution was changed to include the clause “to serve as a forum for discussion and consultation between the parent body and the school as part of the school’s Co-operative governance model”.   In other words, they have a dual role namely a) social/fundraising and b) consultative. 

Staff – we already had an established staff forum which included staff governors, professional association representatives, the headteachers and the business manager.  This became the body which was seen as representing the staff. 

Students – we already had regular meetings with Head Boy/Girl and Deputy Head Boy/Girl.  Anglo Council was also established as a representative group on behalf of the student body led by the Student Executive in the Sixth Form.

Each constituency plus the governing body are entitled to appoint representatives to attend the Forum or Council. 

Legal summary:

Established 1 June 2011 
Previous name:  Anglo European Trust 
Company Number: 07654006
Registered at Companies House
Private Limited Company by guarantee 
Partner organisations: Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Star – Co-operative. 
Associate Schools: Ingatestone Infant SchoolIngatestone and Fryerning Voluntary Aided C of E Junior SchoolMargaretting C of E Primary School, Mountnessing C of E Primary School.
Directors: Roger Franklin, Mike Frost, Jody Gee, Helle Gulowsen, Holly Obank, Maire O’Regan, Neil Taggart, Olly Young, Shelagh Harvey
People with significant overall control:  nil