Social enterprise gets Higher status

Social enterprise gets Higher status
Third Force News

SOCIAL enterprise is to be a core part of the Standard Grade and Higher Business Studies curriculum.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has confirmed that pupils will get opportunities to set up and will be asked to research a social enterprise while studying for their high-school qualifications.

The move follows a dramatic rise in social enterprises within Scottish schools over the last few years.

Over 200 schools are already running pupil-led social enterprises with hundreds of pupils from age three up to 16 involved in businesses across Scotland including market gardens and food production, book and music shops, nail bars, uniform and other forms of recycling, community cafes and bike recycling.

Teachers argue that creating social enterprises in schools have helped them to teach youngsters to be more enterprising while also developing their awareness of social responsibility.

The Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) has been working with teachers to promote the social business model since 2008.
It delivers continuing professional development courses for teachers and plans to launch new teacher guidance on social enterprise in 2012 to allow time for planning the new curriculum.

Sandra Ewen, the SEA schools manager, said: “Scottish education is currently undergoing its biggest change for a century. The Social Enterprise in Schools programme encourages young people to discover and develop their entrepreneurial skills and introduces them to social enterprise as a way of doing better business.”

The SEA also runs the social enterprise in schools awards scheme.

Fiona Downey, enterprise development officer at South Lanarkshire Council, added: “Working with the Social Enterprise Academy young people will meet real social entrepreneurs whose key motivation for making a profit is a social one.

“The Academy offers support for developing and sustaining a small business and the opportunity to have success recognised by winning a prestigious award. Social Enterprise makes a real and lasting difference to schools.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government Learning Directorate added: “We recognise that it’s  important that young people have the opportunity to experience and develop an understanding of the entrepreneurial nature of business and social enterprise.

“The skills they develop – self-confidence, self-esteem, communication skills, self-motivation, respect for others and themselves, a sense of responsibility and team working to name but a few – are vitally important for being successful and improving their life chances.”

On 15 November, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, pupils from award winning enterprises at Paisley Grammar and St Nicholas Primary in West Lothian will celebrate World Social Enterprise day at a parliamentary reception sponsored by SEA.