Thursday, June 19, 2014

News: Lord Young commends Rotherham for enterprise education

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The Prime Minister's Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young has commended the approach to enterprise education in Rotherham where teachers inspire pupils as young as four to learn more about the world of work and business.

The Enterprise for All report follows on from reports for the Prime Minister on growing micro businesses and supporting the start-up and development of small business.

Lord Young (pictured on a visit to Herringthorpe Infants School in Rotherham last year), credits Ready Unlimited with providing a "holistic approach to enterprise, which embeds the ethos and practice from head teachers, teachers, schools and the wider local community."

The report, published today, adds: "I would commend Rotherham Ready [the first programme started by the Ready Unlimited team] for the programmes they have introduced into their primary schools that make a game out of the world of work, but broaden their charges' minds at the same time.

"I have seen models like Ready Unlimited start in Rotherham and spread to Hull, London and Derbyshire. A process of engagement has already begun between some LEPs and their local authorities to propagate the Ready Unlimited model in their areas and I hope this can extend to more schools across all LEP areas."

Ready Unlimited started life as a local authority initiative to tackle low levels of ambition and achievement in deprived Rotherham schools and has won international acclaim after helping transform school performance by showing teachers how to embed enterprise learning approaches in lessons for pupils as young as four years old.

In practice at Herringthorpe Infants School, which is in an area of deprivation, staff have harnessed enterprise to create a culture of high expectations and challenge. Foundation year children sell eggs laid by the chickens they look after, Year 1 children design packaging for the eggs and Year 2 children calculate the costs and profits of the enterprise. This brings different elements of the curriculum to life and encourages children to develop their creativity, initiative and problem-solving skills from their very first day at school.

The Rotherham model, now replicated by not-for-profit social enterprise, Ready Unlimited which works with 449 schools across the UK, and encourages pupils to be entrepreneurial but in doing so, aims to develop their learning behaviours, engagement in school and attitudes and expectations for the future.

Catherine Brentnall, managing director at Ready Unlimited, said: "Lord Young's report is a welcome sign that the government is championing enterprise as a critical part of a 21st century education for young people.

"We are keen that educators understand that developing enterprising teaching and learning is a powerful vehicle for school improvement, creating a culture of challenge and high expectations. Schools involved in our programmes show how developing connections between the classroom, the real world and the world of work and business enables young people to see where education can take them, and improves their motivation and attitudes towards learning."

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.

Ready Unlimited website

Images: Ready Unlimited

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