Lord Young will be remembered by EEUK as the trailblazer who subtitled his 2014 seminal Government report “Enterprise for All” with the key strapline “The Relevance of Enterprise Education”.
It can appear that policy documents, reports and government proclamations make little difference to our work , but with the launch of Lord Young’s report “Enterprise for All: the Relevance of Enterprise in Education” (June 2014) there was for the first time in England a review of the educational ‘enterprise offer’ as experienced by all learners across the education sector.
Prior to his review, there was only limited appreciation of the entrepreneurial education journey as experienced by students, other than work for the APPG for Micro business by key EEUK members early that year. Through the creation of an educational lens for his government review, Lord Young’s work placed the student and their entrepreneurial learning experience in the context of our national education system and publicly called for “lifelong experience of enterprise in education” which was:
- Captive and meaningful to young people through real-life contact with business and work, particularly for those put off by more theoretical or academic learning; and made relevant in the way the curriculum and exams are designed and delivered.
- Continuous beginning with inspiration and a first taste of enterprise in primary and secondary education, and then the application of that learning through further and higher education, and later in life.
- Coherent first, as strong and consistent government message to empower educators to embed enterprise in their teaching; second, to in the way we measure and distinguish the impact of an institution’s enterprise activity and third, through better coordination and consistency in what already exists, to ensure that all young people are able to access enterprise-related programmes. (Lord Young 2014 Enterprise for All p4)
This report and on-going work may have been, for some of us, far too focused on the work within business schools, but it resulted in the creation of the award for the UK’s world-class business schools, The Small Business Charter (SBC). This award celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship and by providing business schools with a nationally recognisable accreditation, Lord Young drove the sector wide engagement which furthered the SEC challenge work which had ultimately created EEUK.
Since 2014, there has disappointingly been no further government leadership in England. This ensures Lord Young’s report stands as the latest English position and retains the prominence of key challenges he set us as enterprise educators. He stated that our current curriculum “may not be sufficient unless accompanied by an enterprising attitude” (p1) and called for “not a change to the curriculum, but a change to how it is taught” (p24).
Although this challenge laid down in 2014 and remains our challenge today. Lord Young’s legacy has been the declaration of a national ambition to create an enterprise education experience that is “captive; continuous and coherent” throughout our entire educational system. He has driven us to
- develop an entrepreneurial mind-set within our current work
- make changes in teaching practice and exploration of effective methods that build entrepreneurial effectiveness within the current curriculum, and
- review ‘how’ we deliver our curriculum
EEUK continues to respond to his challenge and invites you to join us, whether you are new to enterprise or have worked in the sector long enough to recognise the legacy his work has given us all, in all that we do as we recognise “the relevance of enterprise education” and seek to deliver “enterprise for all”.