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The Vicus Co-operative Learning Trust

The governing bodies of Hawkinge, Churchill and Cheriton Primary Schools elected to change school category, from Community School to a Foundation School and at the same time to acquire a charitable trust in June 2013. This has been named: The Vicus Co-operative Learning Trust.


Why Trust Status?


We want to build upon the good work the three schools have done together over the last 5 years in raising standards across all the schools, and Ofsted judgements.

In particular we see our model as an opportunity to:

  • 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
  • Support our combined communities to understand the complex pathways through education and training
  • Acquire a sharper focus on sustainability & environmental issues


Why call the trust the ‘Vicus Trust’?


In Ancient Rome, the ‘Vicus’ was a neighbourhood, and was also an administrative area of a town. The ‘vicus’ often sprang up in the shelter of a nearby official Roman site, usually a military garrison or fort.

As the three schools in the proposed ‘Vicus Trust’ are close to ‘Caesars Camp’, the remains of a Norman and Roman fort, we thought this the ideal name for our trust.


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.


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