Modern Slavery Statement
Our statement on modern slavery This statement is made pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, for the financial year ending 31 August 2017.
Co-op Academies Trust (CAT) is a group of nine academy schools located in Leeds, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent which are sponsored by the Co-op. It has around 1,000 employees and an annual turnover in excess of £36m, and procures services and good from third party providers predominantly based within the UK.
In line with our co-operative values, CAT is committed to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking within any part of its business or supply chain.
Slavery & human trafficking policy
During the last year, CAT has produced an Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy in consultation with key stakeholders and recognised Trade Unions. The policy was approved by the CAT Board in April 2017 and published on our website alongside a copy of this statement.
All colleagues were briefed on the launch of the policy during the summer term, and a request has been made that this is included in the induction process for all new staff. Our sponsor is active in this field, and CAT shared a short video about one victim of modern slavery who has been helped by the Co-op which was shown at their 2017 AGM, for academies to use in their communication cascade with staff and students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijq59xe4tdE Acknowledging the importance of senior leadership “buy in”, modern slavery was an agenda item at the Trust Forum meeting in June 2017.
Due diligence in relation to slavery & human trafficking in its business
CAT employs people solely within England. Our recruitment processes are set out in our Safer Recruitment Policy and ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK. A copy of the policy is on our website. During 2016/17 2 additional guidance has been issued to our academies around checking and recording Right to Work in the UK.
Due diligence in relation to slavery & human trafficking in its supply chain
The Trust’s Financial Regulations have been updated to include reference to the Modern Slavery Act, and key finance colleagues have been briefed on its implications for procurement. The Trust has recently appointed a new member of staff who will act as a central co-ordinating point for procurement policy going forward.
Focus in our academies on slavery & human trafficking
All our academies work towards educating others on slavery & human trafficking through:
- Educating pupils and students, for example through the History (slavery, and child labour) & Geography (human trafficking) departments in the secondary academies.
- Child protection / family support, where human trafficking has been highlighted as a high risk in some academies.
By way of example, one Principal explained:
We have delivered units on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) to our pupils which included links to elements of anti-slavery. This has mainly been in Citizenship lessons, but we have also been involved in a safety CSE project as well. Textiles have talked about accessing clothing from ethical sources.
This statement was approved by CAT’s Board on 25 September 2017