Co-operative education in Wales
The Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission made several important recommendations that relate to education. For instance, recommendation one proposes that a co-operative ethos should be the central organising principle of the education system and that co-operation should be integrated into all aspects of school life. Recommendation two proposes that learning about co-operation should be embedded in the curriculum.
These proposals could play a key role in achieving a step-change in the co-operative economy in Wales. As the Commission noted, learning about co-operatives and learning how to co-operate are not part of the formal curriculum in Wales. Embedding co-operative values in education is critical to the creation of future generations of co-operators.
Integrating co-operative values into school life will bring many benefits. Schools that adopt co-operative values as part of their culture and ethos will be more democratic, inclusive and collaborative. Co-operative values foster good relationships with learners and parents, with stakeholders encouraged to have their say in the running of the school.
At the Wales Co-operative Centre, we are working with partners such as the Co-operative College to explore practical steps to strengthen co-operative education in Wales. We will be responding to the recently announced Curriculum Review for Wales and supporting Welsh Government as well as organisations across the education sector to take the agenda forward.