Tuesday, November 19, 2013

News: PM's advisor sees enterprise education in action

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The Prime Minister's Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young marked the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week by visiting a Rotherham school to see how teachers inspire pupils as young as four to learn more about the world of work and business.

Lord Young was visiting to learn more about Ready Unlimited, which develops teachers skills and confidence to create enterprising and entrepreneurial learning for all children, from as soon as they start school.

Evolving from Rotherham Ready and originally established as a council-run project by Rotherham Council in 2005, Ready Unlimited became an independent not-for-profit social enterprise in June.

As part of a roundtable discussion, Lord Young said: "I'd like to see a world in which enterprise is in all subjects, where examples of learning include enterprise examples, because learning about that enriches the core curriculum.

"Too often, young people are insulated from the lives they are going to live as adults. To see children this young learning about enterprise as part of their everyday curriculum shows just what is possible. If we could see this everywhere, it would be a significant step forward. Unless a young person leaves school with these skills and knowledge, they're not really prepared for the world ahead of them."

As part of his visit to Rotherham, Lord Young saw how staff developed enterprise through a "Mini Beasts" curriculum topic, with children setting up companies to respond to a design brief. He saw how children took on different company roles, from managers and accountants to designers, and had to work to a strict budget.

Lynne Pepper, head teacher at Herringthorpe Infants School, said: "It is fantastic to be able to show that enterprise doesn't have to be a bolt on, but can be an integral part of children's learning that demonstrates the relevance of the curriculum they experience."

Catherine Brentnall, managing director of Ready Unlimited, added: "We share many of the same goals as the Government around preparing children to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives, making them more entrepreneurial, improving educational attainment and encouraging citizenship.

"It was great to be able show Lord Young real examples of how we are actually supporting teachers to do this and discuss the opportunities and challenges around scaling these approaches across the country."

The Rt Hon the Lord Young of Graffham PC DL became Secretary of State for Employment in 1985 and in 1987 became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade. He was Executive Chairman of Cable and Wireless pic from 1990 to 1995 and then Chairman of Young Associates Ltd, which invests in new technologies.

He has produced reports for the Prime Minister on growing micro businesses and supporting the start-up and development of small business.

Rotherham leads the way in enterprise education and has become internationally acclaimed for its approach to integrating enterprise into learning for all children aged 4-19. Professors and business people from Japan, Finland, Lithuania and Spain have visited Rotherham to find out more.

Ready Unlimited website

Images: Ready Unlimited

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