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KsENT stands for Kent Special Education Needs Trust. It is a Cooperative Foundation Trust of 26 schools across Kent with the aim of improving opportunities for children and young people with SEND. As of June 2023, all of our schools have been graded either “Good” or “Outstanding” following their most recent Ofsted inspection.

KsENT originally consisted of KASS (Kent Association of Special Schools) and CLASS (Collaborative Learning Alliance of Special Schools). These merged in September 2017 to become the Kent Special Education Needs Trust; a legal entity with a formal commitment to work together to:

  1. Benefit children and young people with SEND across our schools

  2. Retain our autonomy as maintained schools in opposition to the Academisation agenda

  3. Serve as a central driver of SEND provision across Kent


KsENT is a Co-operative Foundation Trust. There are two aspects to this; the ‘foundation’ aspect and the ‘co-operative’ aspect.

A Foundation Trust is defined by the following traits:

  1. It is made up of foundation (i.e. local authority maintained) schools

  2. This means that although the school is funded by the local authority, its governing body employs staff and is responsible for setting the school’s admissions policy

  3. The foundation schools are supported by a charitable foundation (Trust) which consists of a number of partners

  4. The Trust holds the land and buildings for the school on behalf of its governing body


A Co-operative Foundation Trust is a type of Foundation Trust which includes the Schools Co-operative Society as a member as well as its other partners. It also includes a stakeholder forum which involves parents, pupils, staff and other stakeholders so they can be involved in the Trust and have a say in how it is run.  

The Schools Co-operative Society is a national body which represents state-run schools in England that share a Co-operative ethos. Its Members set up the Co-operative Schools Network (CSNET) to deliver a regional, representative approach to support schools through a national network.


For more information about the Trust, please download our handbook: 

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