Co-operative Schools In other Countries
Co-operative Schools exist in a number of other countries. As co-operation spread across the world Co-operative Schools became a strong component of the co-operative movement of many countries. The original pioneers of the movement placed a high emphasis on good education.
Although the co-operative model has been tried in most areas of organisation, commerce or business it lends itself ideally to the education scene. Schools are naturally co-operative and need to work together to improve. As a result the co-operative model was used in a number of countries as an alternative to the more traditional ways of running a school. Spain is just one example. The spanish educational co-operative sector is seen as a strong and dynamic alternative to the traditional state and private sector. With over 550 Co-operative Schools in Spain, they have developed a strong regional and national voice through their network of regional and local structures.
One Co-operative School in Spain which has worked with a number of Co-operative Schools in the UK is Colegio Ferroviario in Cordoba. This school started as a mutual in the 1920s by a group of railway workers from the local railway industry. It is now a co-operative school.
Working with Co-operative Schools in other countries
The links between Co-operative Schools in the UK and the Co-operative Movements of other countries were a strong part of the original work with the Co-operative Business and Enterprise Colleges. These links helped young people see other cultures but also allowed them to explore how co-operatives have supported developments in other parts of the world.
The Co-operative College has extensive links and experience with this work and will support member schools wanting to explore this aspect of their work.
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Colegio Trentino is a province in Northern Italy with a strong Co-operative Movement.
A number of visits between students from UK Co-operative Schools were used to explore the way the Co-operative sector in the area had help the province develop.