Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Enterprise education

As of September 2005, English secondary schools must provide all Key Stage 4 pupils with the equivalent of five days' activity focused on enterprise capability: innovation, creativity, risk management and risk-taking, and "a can-do attitude".

The government has earmarked funding of £60 million a year to support this requirement but it is unclear exactly how the money will be spent.

As well, details of what 'enterprise education' should look like are unclear, but it appears the DfES is allowing schools sufficient scope to develop a programme that fits with their existing partnerships and activities.

Enterprise education is part of work-related learning and schools are required to have regard to QCA guidance about it.

The five days should include activities towards the latter part of Key Stage 4 that, according to the Teachnet website, "enable students to draw on their previous enterprise learning in applying their skills, knowledge and understanding to develop and demonstrate their enterprise capability".

Examples of enterprise activities (not all students have to do the same thing) include:

  • business and community projects or investigations

  • mini-enterprises: business, social or community

  • simulations

  • work and community placements

  • enterprise days and events

It does appear that Osted will be looking at enterprise education as part of their inspection of work-related learning.

Ofsted's recommendations for schools looking to implement an enterprise education programme include a six-point guide to getting started:

  • develop enterprise learning as part of a coherent programme of vocational and work-related learning

  • establish a clear definition of enterprise learning and ensure it is understood by staff, pupils and other stakeholders

  • identify the learning outcomes pupils are expected to gain from enterprise activities

  • recognise that enterprise learning has implications for teaching and learning styles (ie encourage students to take more responsibility and give them greater autonomy)

  • develop effective methods of assessing enterprise learning

  • have robust systems in place for monitoring and evaluating its development

SHA will publish more guidance on enterprise education as plans develop. The current DfES guidance can be found at www.teachernet.gov.uk/enterpriseeducation/

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