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All Hallows students see how ‘Co-operation works’ at international conference in Poland

Students from All Hallows, a Co-operative Business and Enterprise College, visited Poland to see how international co-operation works.

During the week before half term, five sixth form students and two members of staff from All Hallows, a co-operative Business and Enterprise College in Macclesfield, Cheshire, joined groups and teachers from all over Europe in the small Polish town of Lubomia to launch the region’s first international conference celebrating international co-operatives.

Students from All Hallows, a Co-operative Business and Enterprise College, visited Poland to see how international co-operation works.

Under the banner ‘Co-operation works’, students from the UK, Poland, the Basque region of Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary all met in the Silesian town to discuss the development of the co-operative movement in their countries and to share ideas on how the spirit of the co-operative values could be used within schools.

Students from All Hallows, a Co-operative Business and Enterprise College, visited Poland to see how international co-operation works

The conference became a showcase for how schools in the region have ensured that students benefit from engaging with the co-operative values. Many of the schools have school shops that run on co-operative values, using the profits to fund school trips for those students who couldn’t afford them. Others have set up gardening enterprises that use the produce as part of their catering services and again, all profits are diverted back into school.

Of course, at All Hallows co-operation is one of the school’s Five Core Values. These are a set of values that impact on the school’s daily practice and activities. But the All Hallows students also shared their experiences of co-operation and enterprise at the school. These include the Make Your Money Grow challenge that all students have engaged with and the ongoing and exciting development of the growing school farm (the long list of the school’s animals drew many shocked but impressed faces!), as well as engaging in lessons on the co-operative movement from resources developed using the co-operative movement’s own archive materials.