Young enterprise – no two words in the English dictionary fill me with more frustration! Controversial for someone who spends well over 80% of every working day focussed on a passion and mission to inspire teenage girls to raise their aspirations and reach for the stars you may think??
But here’s the thing…….. Enterprise is such an over used and misused word in our education system. The mere mention of the word seems to be necessary to open the school gates for any kind of funding and teachers and educators all over the UK constantly link the word enterprising to ‘let’s set up a business on school time’ activities at best and ‘let’s find something motivating to do for the academic no hopers’ at worse. Now before, I get hate mail and a torrid of abuse, I know some schools get it and I have had the privilege of working with some amazing and dynamic enterprise teachers that I seriously salute, but I have also been into some schools and listened in horror as they define their approach to enterprise, how about these gems…..
- ‘Oh yes enterprise is covered, we have a retired guy that comes in every other month and mentors some of our kids.’
- ‘We do not need enterprise here as we are a centre of excellence for sport so it is not important.’
- All of our pupils will achieve outstanding GCSE results so FE is the goal not enterprise.’
Too often enterprise is seen as a task as opposed to a state of mind. Surely, few would argue that in the world we live in the need to be enterprising, which is defined in the dictionary as ‘ready to embark on a new venture ; full of boldness, initiative and energy; is a core requirement regardless of projected exam results, specialisms or personal choice.
We need to equip our young people with more than a kitbag of qualifications and the odd school project where they were encouraged to make money! Enterprise is not a project to be ticked off the list in year 9, it is so much bigger than that, it is integral to the way we think, our confidence, self belief and initiative. An enterprising individual gives more and gets more in all situations be it in education, in work or in their own business.
There, feel so much better now!