Cheriton Primary School

The Vicus Co-operative Learning Trust

Since June 2013 Cheriton Primary School has been part of the Vicus Co-operative Trust, along with Hawkinge Primary School. The governing bodies elected to change school category, from Community School into a Foundation School and at the same time to acquire a charitable trust.

Why Trust Status?

The schools wished to build upon the work they had started over time and felt the values of the co operative movement very aligned to their own. 

In particular there is an opportunity to:

  • Develop learning and life skills for our pupils
  • Promote a diverse society
  • Make efficient and effective use of human resources and expertise across the schools
  • Make good use of collective bargaining power in purchasing common resources
  • Support our combined communities to understand the complex pathways through education and training
  • Acquire a sharper focus on sustainability & environmental issues

Why call the trust the “Vicus Trust”?

In Ancient Rome, the “Vicus” was a neighbourhood, and was also an administrative area of a town. The “vicus” often sprang up in the shelter of a nearby official Roman site, usually a military garrison or fort.

As the schools in the proposed “Vicus Trust” are close to “Ceasars Camp”, the remains of a Norman and Roman fort, we thought this the ideal name for our trust.

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,
  • caring for others. 

The ethos of Cheriton Primary School and Hawkinge Primary School align well with co-operative values and principles of the co-operative movement.

As Trust schools…

In each school, the following stays the same as a community school.


The schools still:

  • Teach the National Curriculum
  • Receive funding through the Local Authority
  • Follow the Schools’ Admission Code
  • Have a Governing Body which will be responsible for the strategic direction of the school
  • Employ all staff on the same terms and conditions.

In each school, only the following changed after changing status:

  • The Governing Body employs the staff.
  • The School’s assets (both grounds and buildings) are held by the Trust for each individual school.
  • The Trust appoints additional Governors to support each school’s Governing Body.


What do we do as a Vicus Trust?

Throughout the year, The Vicus Trust collaborates on many events.

Some examples of these are:

  • Staff Meetings
  • Marking Moderations
  • TA Training and conference
  • SEN Groups
  • Governor Training