April 25, 2017


Project Co-operation!

It has been a milestone for Dartford Science and Technology College this week; they have become part of a co-operative trust. Therefore, they decided to celebrate this via a launch day consisting of fun, team-building activities for the younger years and an open afternoon for co-operative members and parents. Students from year 7 and 9 participated in team-building activities run by a select group of sixth form sport leaders – this allowed them to improve their sense of solidarity in a fun, healthy way. In addition, year 7s had the opportunity to pull a tractor – this allowed them to gain team-work skills and strategise co-operatively and resiliently in order to be able to perform the task in hand.

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Co-operative Launch Day

What is a Trust?

Our ambition is to achieve excellence by working as part of a formal collaborative group. This will enable the school to maintain its own character, ethos and expertise while gaining additional strengths by working in partnership.

Our intention is to bring about improved outcomes for our pupils, enhance the effectiveness of our professionals and to deliver a broader range of opportunities for pupils, staff, parents and other stakeholders to contribute to successful local education services.


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.

All co-operatives develop their work based on these core values.

Who are the partners?

Chris Philpott – Chris Philpott is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Greenwich with particular responsibility for teacher education and relationship management with schools and colleges.

A former music teacher, Chris started his musical career as a cornet player in the Betteshanger Colliery Brass Band (near Deal, Kent). He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic and the University of London going on to teach music and performing arts in secondary schools in Hertfordshire and Kent. After 16 years in the classroom he moved into higher education, working as a lecturer in music education at Canterbury Christ Church University. Chris has written widely in the field of music education and teacher education where his texts are used in teacher training programmes. In his spare time he supports Gillingham FC and plays cricket.

David Edwards –   David was one of the founding Directors of the Trust and represents the interests of the School as the Chair of the Governing Body a role which he has held since September 2011. He has a keen personal interest in pupil progress as well as maths and science and ensuring that the school embraces the values at the centre of the co-operative thinking. He lives locally and has held various roles in local government including at Kent County Council, Bexley London Borough and at a Director level at Maidstone Borough Council. He recently established his own business supporting organisations and individuals to improve their services and outcomes and is also a keen sportsman.

Dr Ajay Sharman – Dr Sharman is currently Regional Manager and Lead for the newly merged STEM Learning Ltd organisation, for London & South East. Dr Sharman manages the key STEM Ambassadors and STEM Clubs programmes across London & South East, working alongside the highly-rated STEM inspiration and teacher support already offered by STEM Learning, providing those who work with young people in STEM subjects and activities, with the support they need all in one place. The new merged organization will continue to ensure all young people have a positive attitude to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), so that they are more likely to choose STEM careers in the future.

Previously Dr Sharman was Technical Director of Viridian, commercialising solutions for treatment of contaminated air, land and water, winning Kent Business Innovation and Environmental Awards. Dr Sharman then joined an FMCG, Reckitt Benckiser, as Global Technology Manager, in Household Cleaning and Healthcare, specialising in Biologics. This was followed, by a Commercial Technology role at Oxford, before supporting and leading on SEEDA’s STEM skills agenda before moving to STEMNET. Dr Sharman has been Chair of Governors at Parkside Community School in Canterbury for over 4 years, overseeing two Ofsted inspections.  Dr Sharman is a passionate sportsman, playing squash, golf and football in his spare time.

Tony Smith – Tony Smith was educated at the Gilberd School, Colchester, and the University of Hull, later gaining an MA in Education at the University of Greenwich. He began his teaching career at a boys’ secondary modern school in Clacton-on-Sea and went on to work in three Essex comprehensive schools, two as Head of English, and one as Deputy Head. For 23 years he was Head of Dartford Grammar School, which had high community involvement, for example in its development of joint-use facilities for sport and the arts.

Since retiring in 2009, he has worked as a consultant and a Senior Secondary Improvement Adviser for the Kent County Council.

Susan Acott (Chair) – Susan is Chief Executive of Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust which runs the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

Susan started her career from the NHS’s General Management Training Scheme, having graduated from Birmingham University. She has long standing experience in the NHS and has worked in a variety of posts in Manchester, Merseyside, York and London. Her Board level experience includes Operational, Strategic, Performance and Transformation portfolios.  Susan is passionate about the role of clinical leadership and education in delivering and sustaining high quality, safe services for patients. She has had considerable experience of service improvement, service reorganisation, mergers and operational delivery.  Susan has been CEO in Dartford since April 2010.