Below are details of Mervyn Wilson’s talk at the SSC AGM on May 11th. All welcome.
Many describe the the education system as being in crisis, with legislative reforms impacting from Early Years to Higher Education. Central to these reforms is a notion that greater competition is needed to drive up standards. Can marketisation and privatisation of the system improve access to and standards in education provision? Will these strategies reduce or exasperate the massive inequalities in the system today? Is there an alternative? Are strategies based on co-operation and collaboration more likely to succeed in addressing these issues?
Mervyn Wilson is Chief Executive and Principal of the Co-operative College. The College has led work to develop alternative co-operative models in the face of educational reforms. Today there are approaching 500 schools using co-operative models, with many more consulting. The national network, the Schools Co-operative Society provides a distinct alternative to the rapid growth of the academy chains. Can these models be extended into Further and Higher Education, and is there now a real opportunity to build a distinct co-operative vision for education provision?
Mervyn has worked in the co-operative sector for over thirty years. He specialised in member education, co-operative identity and governance and has led work to develop a distinct co-operative element in the state education sector. Today there are nearly 500 co-operative trust schools and converter academies and a national network, the Schools Co-operative Society. He is a member of the Board of the Co-operative Institute for Peace and Social Cohesion, a Trustee of the Co-operative Heritage Trust, Chair of the Royal Docks Co-operative Learning Partnership and a Fellow of the RSA.