Actually this is not a new development. See our article from 2012 Alperton teachers say NO to an academy – Strike against the Co-op academy
When a bunch of young weavers in the Rochdale Pioneers Society opened their first grocery store on 21 December 1844, their hope was to promote ethical trade and share profits with their members and community. It was their response to a divided country rocked by economic problems with the poor suffering.
One hundred and 75 years on and the Co-op says it is taking inspiration from those founder members, not only through selling Fairtrade goods and funding local charities through its membership scheme but also by putting itself at the heart of communities through the sponsorship of 24 academy schools.