Student heroes set tone for The Co-operative Academy

July 05, 2010

Future students of The Co‑operative Academy of Manchester became ‘heroes’ when they took on the job of role models for their younger peers.

The year-9 students, who will join the academy when it opens in September, took more than 70 pupils from the new year-7 on a ‘heroes journey’ to show them the importance of values such as fairness, ambition and respect.

The day-long workshop was supported by youth mentoring scheme, Humanutopia, who use acting, games and real life scenarios to encourage students to shape their own goals and ambitions.

Kathy Leaver, Principal of The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, said: “Humanutopia has been working with different year groups for a number of weeks, and already we’re seeing fantastic results.

“All the year 10s involved have put themselves forward to be ‘heroes’ for the younger students, and will mentor them as they go through the school year.”

The students took part in interactive team-building challenges and role plays to address issues such as bullying and racism, and discussed their goals for the future and the new academy.

Kathy continued: “Pupils take away the belief that they are in control of their own futures, and how important it is to have goals and ambitions.”

The workshop was hosted at The Co-operative Financial Services’ (CFS) head office in Manchester.

Rod Bulmer, Managing Director, Retail, The Co-operative Financial Services, and Chair of the Academy Trust, said: “The support Humanutopia is offering is invaluable in changing the way students view themselves and in encouraging them to take on co-operative values.

“When it opens in September, the academy will provide a supportive and aspirational learning environment, and we believe it’s important that pupils are positive and excited about the opportunities ahead of them.”

The co-sponsors for The Co-operative Academy of Manchester are Manchester City Council and The Manchester College


For further information please contact

Nuala Ryan
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3822
E-mail :

Notes to Editors

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About The Co-operative Academy of Manchester

The Co-operative Academy of Manchester is part of a wider programme of seven new academies open across the city by September 2010, each one linked to future growth sectors of the city's economy.

The Co-operative Group is one of Manchester's largest and most successful business and is well placed to support the academy's specialism of finance and business. The specialism will complement the broad and balanced curriculum offer of the academy, which has been designed to bring out the best in all students. The co-sponsors for all the new academies across the city are Manchester City Council and The Manchester College. This dynamic partnership will support the academy to deliver world class finance and business skills in Manchester.

The co-operative values of self-help, equity, honesty and caring for others underpin all The Co-operative businesses and are at the heart of the academy. The Principal Designate for the academy is Kathy Leaver who will take up her post as Principal for the opening of the academy in September 2010: "The academy is an inclusive, supportive and aspirational school, with traditional standards of respect, good behaviour and self-discipline placed in a modern context. The academy welcomes students of all abilities and social backgrounds and will challenge them to achieve their best for themselves and the community around them."

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