Prepping For Growth

When the Co-operatative Academies Trust, a charitable trust sponsored by the Co-op group, approached us back in 2017, it ran 8 schools in the north of England.

Due to a period of expansion, the Trust and its schools needed a suite of individual websites, one for each school and the Trust, that stays true to the Co-op branding but allows for flexibility to allow schools to make the sites their own and the scalability to support the onboarding of new schools into the Co-op Academy Trust.

Our brief was to create a new digital experience that would meet the needs of the Trust, its existing north west academies and any planned future schools. Working within the Co-op’s established digital design principles and new brand guidelines, we challenged and refined this brief to deliver the best results.

Scroll Down

About Co-op Academies

Co-op Academies Trust is currently responsible for a number of academies in West Yorkshire, Manchester, Staffordshire and Merseyside with the Co-op acting as the sponsor. Co-op offers access to business expertise and many learning opportunities for the children and young people underpinned by Co-op values.


GAIN LINE ran a series of workshops to uncover distinct user types and their individual requirements, mapping each one to ensure that the site was able to cater to these audiences in equal priority.

The system was built using multisite technology, a system that allows for multiple independent websites to be run and managed in one single CMS instance ensuring that both the day to day management and future expansion could be easily performed by both the Trust, its schools and their staff.

One of its primary functions was to ensure that all school and trust documentation was up to date and relevant, not only to ensure parents and students had a consistent message but also to help with government legislation and OFSTED audits. The system held a central documents library that could then be shared across the Trusts estate.

The results

GAIN LINE implimented a new web system, this included the following features:

  • One single installation to run all the sites in the trust improving security and administration.
  • New schools can be added with a click of a button allowing the Trust to grow from 8 schools to over 30 secondary and primary schools without the need for any development or additional costs.
  • Easy to use admin area for Teachers and School Staff.
  • Powerful navigation and search tools with clearly designated routes for each user type to allow customers to find what they want easily.