Baroness Smith recognises decades of work at St Clere’s

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THE Trust that runs St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope has been celebrating its new name and honouring those who have worked locally in education for more than 30 years.

Formerly known as the St Clere’s Co-operative Academy Trust, the Trust has marked its recent expansion by changing its name and honouring one of its founders, the late Ray Osborne

St Clere’s opened in 1978 and in September 2009 became a Foundation Trust school, starting the St Clere’s Co-operative Community Learning Partnership. East Tilbury Infant and Junior Schools joined St Clere’s in the Foundation in 2010.

St Clere’s School converted to an Academy in September 2011 and in April 2012, it opened the first Multi-Academy Trust to have Co-operative Articles of Association in the country, with East Tilbury Infant School and East Tilbury Junior School.

Since then, the St Clere’s Co-operative Academy Trust has welcomed Thameside Primary School (September 2012), Stanford-le-Hope Primary School (June 2013), Arthur Bugler Primary School (September 2016) and Brentwood County High School (September 2017) into its family of schools.

One of the founder members of the Trust and a long time chair of governors was Ray Osborne, who died last year.

As part of a number of tributes to his legacy, the Trust has renamed the sports Pavilion at its site in Butts Lane after him and now the Trust, will be known as the Osborne Co-operative Academy Trust.

Recently a commemorative bench bearing his name was unveiled by his son and daughter, Mark Osborne and Jacqui Bower and during that service Trust CEO Paul Griffiths (pictured receiving his long service award) paid tribute to how Mr Osborne looked beyond the traditional school establishment to forge the St Clere’s Co-operative Academy Trust which was England’s first co-operative multi-academy trust, adding: “His somewhat unlikely friendship with then MP, now Baroness Angela Smith, forged the co-op model we have.”

And last Thursday Baroness Smith returned to the school to plant two trees in his honour and also hand out platinum service awards to a large number of staff, teachers and support staff who have worked for the Trust.

The former East Thurrock MP, now Labour leader of the opposition in the House of Lords, told the audience last week: “The progress that this Trust is making is exceedingly impressive, matching any other organisation in the country.

“I am delighted and honoured to be here today and I would like to thank everyone here for all that you do.”
Chair of the Trust, Trisha Jaffe, said:” I joined this Co-operative Trust because of its ethical values and I have not been disappointed since. This is an organization that involves its people and the collaboration of you people here today is invaluable in return.

“I am delighted to welcome Baroness Smith here again today. She is the patron of the Trust and one of its founders.

“Without her and Ray’s understanding of the values of the Co-operative movement we would not be who and what we are today.”

That co-operation as a Trust is now spread across six member schools East Tilbury Primary School and Nursery, Stanford-le-Hope Primary School, Thameside Primary School, St Clere’s Secondary School, Arthur Bugler Primary School and Brentwood County High school.

The Trust is continuing to expand and currently one of its feeder schools, Horndon on the Hill Church of England Primary, is applying to the Regional Schools Commissioner and Chelmsford Diocese for permission to join.

The Trust also collaborates with other local primary and secondary schools and St Clere’s School is working in collaboration with two local secondary schools to run the Stanford and Corringham Sixth Form Centre.

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