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North West teachers ask Is Young Enterprise in a Class of Its Own?

Controversy erupts in "Business Insider" magazine

enterprise in schools-tiff

The North West Business Insider article

The growing belief that business education should be a vital part of the school curriculum has Young Enterprise into the media spotlight.

The debate reached a new crescendo in the latest edition of North West Business Insider where the arguments in favour – and against – the style of what we do were discussed.

In an article entitled “Enterprise in a class of its own” the Insider acknowledged that Young Enterprise is far and away the most highly regarded provider.

It said: “The Young Enterprise programme is often hailed as a model for instilling entrepreneurial attitudes in Young People. The scheme involves business representatives going into the classroom to help teams of students set up their own businesses.

“But the model doesn’t work for everyone. Young Enterprise can be expensive and it is not always nimble enough to adapt to local businesses and to schools” said Susan Goff, head of independent Alderley Edge School for girls.

“It’s excellent in principle, but sadly it is not always a meaningful and worthwhile experience for the students. We are lucky at our school to have personal and professional connections with many local businesses which allows us to bring the world of business into the classroom on a regular basis.”

However Louise Robinson, Head of Merchant Taylor’s Girls School in Liverpool said schools cold benefit from running their won “min-Young Enterprise” schemes…”

The debate contrasted with latest feedback Young Enterprise has been receiving from the teaching profession: Jenny Wilson a Team Programme Link Teacher said the Young Enterprise model created a startling change in her students:

“A huge change occurs over the year. Their communication skills improve as working purposefully is completely energising, normalising, and it justifies all the challenges we put in front of them,” she said.

Another Teacher at Catford High School said: “Students who took part in Your School Your Business gained self-confidence in speaking amongst their peers. They gained social skills, networking between primary schools & meeting new children.”

Jenny Butcher, Young Enterprise Link Teacher at Oasis Academy in Coulsdon, Croydon said: “Young Enterprise has enriched my working life in the same way that it has for the students.”

The view in the tough Moss Side area of Manchester was equally positive: “The children learn about business and the wider world in a hands-on and practical way that is more effective than just telling them,” said Jeremy Jackson, Head teacher at Webster Primary School.

Francis McVeigh, Business Studies teacher at Lismore Comprehensive said: “This year has been our first time doing Company Programme – it has been a fantastic experience for students and school.”

Read the North West Business Insider article in full: here