ENTERPRISE (re-visioned)


Marian @Krysan


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham


Memories R Us








Marian Moore

(NE enterprise teacher/storyteller) 



  • Schools Revolution
  • Rachel Sylvester & Alice Thomson
  • The Times newspaper
  • Friday, 20 June 2014

'Everybody's business'

No one was more surprised than I to learn that, in my long absence from the great theatre of life, enterprise education had taken off. The disappointment was that I had missed out on the excitement of it all!  It was in a business studies classroom in a North East school that a small group of sixth form girls first gave birth to a new movement in education. It is a movement that (as it turned out) grew ... and grew ... and grew ...

So, at an ex-grammar school in North East England throughout the 1980s, 

  • an idea became a reality,  
  • learning became fun, and  
  • the whole world shifted.

I am quite sure that enterprise education in schools has undergone many and diverse changes over the last thirty year, but I am also quite sure that nothing will ever touch the exhilarating experience of inventing something from scratch, something that involved both pupils and teachers learning together. This was an innovation that relied not on traditional chalk and talk, but on the new concept of experiential learning.  

Several things happened this week to remind me of extraordinary times then and now, not least of these was having the privilege of reviewing Mary O'Hara's book AUSTERITY BITES on my website. As a reminder, here are a few final words from the book's publisher:

"A 'must-read' book, AUSTERITY BITES seeks to dispel any notion that 'we are all in this together' and offers an alternative to the dominant and simplistic narrative that we inhabit a country of 'skivers versus strivers'."  POLICY PRESS, 2014  

Strong words that needed saying. But, that wasn't all that made the week memorable. I also received an official request (from on high) for information re my volunteering activities and what was going on in my life before I became a volunteer. In order that my efforts are appreciated (even understood) by a wider audience (you), I will start as I began in the aforementioned document, that is, with a few words about my final years as a classroom teacher and agent of change.  

"When in employment as a senior teacher thirty years ago, I became fixated on introducing 'education for enterprise' into the classroom.  This was when 'chalk and talk' was the norm and 'experiential learning' was an unknown quantity.

"A new and more forgiving philosophy eventually welcomed in the modular curriculum and coursework, this together with personalised learning and enterprise education. Open-minded teachers everywhere experimented with new technology and learned fast, this alongside a generation of young people who loved every minute of it.

"My lasting memories are of co-operation, enthusiasm and energy. Learning should be fun - and it was. And so, we witnessed a revolution in educational thought, birthed from grass-roots thinking at chalk-face level. Transformation in schools occurred in tandem with unprecedented economic and technological change and - as an insider - I'm still unsure which came first.  Was it the chicken or the egg?

"And, the world didn't collapse. Advances were incorporated into teacher training; everything and everybody shifted; and education became 'everybody's business'.  Could it happen today? Of course it could." (See CORDON BLEU)   

'Schools revolution'

I would add that the above exposition contained nothing not already in the public domain. Throughout, I drew on my writings from this website. But, of course, it's not volunteering that I am concerned with today, rather I will concentrate on a third serendipitous occurrence - news of a 'schools revolution'. This came via a long article in the Times on Friday 20 June 2014. Cutting to the chase, Lord Young of Graffham (the Prime Minister's enterprise adviser) believes that the most talented children are often overlooked.

All schoolchildren will soon have 'enterprise passports' listing their achievements, these to show universities and employers the range of their skills, from music to sports, volunteering to drama.  The passports, which have government backing, aim to provide universities and employers with more than just exam results when considering applicants. It is thought that this will encourage children to broaden their outlook and discover new talents.  Lord Young is determined that children need more than just academic qualifications to succeed in life. Being a scout, working for a charity, or learning a musical instrument will all contribute.

Lord Young wants to hardwire 'an enterprising attitude' into Britain's education system. With his Enterprise for All* report, he has convinced the Prime Minister that the country needs to change its attitudes towards self-employment and become a nation of entrepreneurs. Lord Young proposes the setting up of small businesses and quotes the figure of 95.5 per cent of firms in this country employing less than ten people. I might add that many small businesses consist of just one enterprising person - see me!  And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

To continue.  Children, as young as five will be encouraged to set up mini-businesses of their very own. Under the 'Fiver Programme', already being piloted to 20,000 children in 500 schools and run by the charity Young Enterprise, pupils between 5 and 11 will be given £5 every summer to see if they can start their own business and make a profit.  More than 40,000 children are expected to take part next year.

Lord Young thinks success is all down to confidence, "If you don't have confidence you get into a panic and don't learn. ... The good in education is wonderful, but too many are still low attainers.  We need to show them that school can be relevant.  If you ask any successful person they will always say they have been lucky, but all of them have a positive outlook.  They see an opportunity and take it."

'Enterprise re-visioned'

Lord Young is certainly nobody's fool.  Enterprise education is being re-visioned before our eyes and this, in essence, is the plan presented here for your consideration:

By secondary school, each child will be allowed to create their own start-up business and every school will have its own enterprise adviser.  "I don't want Richard Branson's.  I want someone who left school a few years before, has got a small business going locally and got a nice car, made some money and is going somewhere."  LORD YOUNG, 2014

Teachers, too, will be taught entrepreneurial skills.  "Teachers are great, but they don't know about the world of outside work.  They live a comparatively sheltered life, so I am planning a course for teachers to explain what business is and what attributes businesses are looking for," the peer explained.

In addition, further education colleges will be transformed.  "Children haven't been taught a word on how to work for yourself or go freelance.  They will learn about tax, how to pay PAYE, and what a limited company is.  Plumbers need to know what they are talking about."

Every university will have an elective enterprise module so that students can take an enterprise course. Universities and further education colleges will also have to publish figures showing how much graduates earn in the ten years after they finish their courses.

Lord Young added, "We used to want children to conform, but now we want children to be entrepreneurial, quirky and different.  You can't get rid of discipline, but you can allow them to be more independent-thinking.  You can be an individualist within limits; life isn't only team work." LORD YOUNG, 2014



Once more I leave you with food for thought and, hopefully, with a song in your heart for the future wealth creators of United Kingdom PLC - your children, your grandchildren or you, yourself!


  • Marian Moore
  • June 2014






You will find Lord Young's report - ENTERPRISE FOR ALL - By clicking on the link below:





ENDS | 1,606 | 2015-08-05 | 

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