The future is bright for The Co-operative Academy

September 24, 2009

Open evening proves a success with parents and future students

Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Alison Firth and Kathy Leaver Principal Designate for The Co-operative Academy of Manchester welcomed 300 parents and primary school pupils who attended The Co-operative Academy open evening at the Plant Hill Park on Wednesday 23 rd September.

The Co-operative Academy will deliver a world class finance and business curriculum in Manchester with the support of lead sponsor The Co-operative Financial Services and co-sponsors Manchester City Council and The Manchester College.

Kathy Leaver, Principal Designate for The Co-operative Acad emy said: “Our vision is to adopt the values and principles of The Co-operative into our curriculum as it is important to draw back into education, citizenship and local responsibility. We want to provide young people with solid academic qualifications to progress into higher education and then onto permanent employment, reducing skills wastage.. “

The first open evening was a success. Parents, primary heads and pupils were pleased to see what The Co-operative Academy will offer to future students, parents and of course the local community.

Guests enjoyed refreshments provided by The Co-operative and the local Scout group whilst watching spectacular performances from The Manchester Diamonds Cheerleaders, a local dance group and the brass band from Plant Hill Arts College. A spokesperson from The Co-operative comments "we are so pleased that the community turned out to find out more about the new academy. The open evening is the first of many events that will bring together the community and celebrate the talents of its people."

The Co-operative Academy will replace Plant Hill Arts College in Higher Blackley and will provide 900 places for 11-16 year olds and post 16 provision for 120 students. The 8,490 sq ft academy will open in September 2010 in a £22.3 million building providing a high quality and flexible learning environment fit for the 21st century. The impressive entrance will welcome both students and the wider community, encouraging everyone to make the most of the facilities available, including the new community cafe. 
Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children's Service at Manchester City Council says: “The Co-operative Academy of Manchester will be a wonderful facility for both children and the surrounding communities. Manchester's Academies programme is a totally new way of educating young people and helping them gain business skills. It is part of a £700 million investment to improve buildings and facilities across the city. Learning transformation – changing how learning is delivered – is at the heart of citywide activity to improve education outcomes.”

The Co-operative Academy of Manchester is one of seven planned across the city, four of which have already opened this month in existing schools. The remaining three will open in September 2010.

- Ends -


For further information contact:

Alejandra Solis - The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3808.
Twitter: CFSpressteam

Maggie Doyle - Manchester City Council Press Office
Tel: 0161 234 1010.


Notes to editors:

ISDN facilities are available for broadcast media interviews.

The Co-operative Academy of Manchester is part of a wider programme of seven new academies, which will be opening 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 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 Kathy Leaver will take up the post as Principal for the opening of the academy in September 2010.

More information on The Co-operative Academy please visits : and for the Co-operative Bank:

The Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world's largest consumer co-operative with over 3 million members. CFS currently has 5.5m customers and employs over 8,000 staff. It has 116 retail and corporate branches/centres and over 1,000 face to face financial advisers. It has £38bn of assets under management across its retail and corporate business areas.