Schools throughout the UK are being given guidance to help them teach young people the vital skills of innovation, creativity, risk management and business understanding. The initiative aims beyond growing the next generation of entrepreneurs, because enterprise skills are valuable to all young people. A can-do, enterprising mindset offers powerful benefits for individuals, such as more personal control, self-expression and recognition in their lives. Enterprise education is seen as critical in securing future economic success and equipping young people with vital life skills.The guidance has evolved from the experience of over 700 schools that have taken part in pathfinder projects. It is a key element of the Enterprise Education strategy which includes providing all Key Stage 4 pupils from September 2005 with the equivalent of five days’ activity which develops enterprise capability.
Enterprise capability is described as the ability to handle uncertainty and respond positively to change, to create and implement new ideas and ways of doing things, to make reasonable risk/reward assessments and act upon them in one’s personal and working life. The learning outcomes include organisation, innovation, risk, change, team work skills, decision-making, leadership, personal effectiveness, problem solving, managing risk and self-reliance.
The guidance also includes financial capability and the need to become questioning and informed consumers of financial services. The learning includes budgeting, financial planning and personal risk management.
Enterprise Advisors, funded by the Learning and Skills Council, are already working alongside head teachers in nearly 1,000 secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas, to encourage enterprise among teachers and pupils.
Warwick University has been commissioned to carry out an external evaluation of Pathfinder projects and to generate national guidance on ways of teaching enterprise effectively. This latest guidance will be published before the September 2005 enterprise education roll-out.