DERBYSHIRE: Headteachers aim to inspire budding entrepreneurs

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HEADTEACHERS from more than a dozen Derbyshire schools are to be shown how to make budding entrepreneurs out of pupils as young as four-years-old.

Four primary headteachers, who have all spent the last year developing an award-winning enterprise education programme in their own schools, will help train staff from another 14 Derbyshire Schools at special coaching sessions which get underway in Swanwick, Alfreton, this month.

Twenty schools from across Derbyshire are already involved in the pioneering Derbyshire Ready programme and the February training session was the first of three coaching days dedicated to confirming the county’s place as a hotbed for young entrepreneurs by showing staff from another 14 schools how to get involved.

It was be led by headteachers from Killamarsh Junior, Mundy Junior, Hayfield Primary and Ashover Primary Schools - all part of the county council-backed movement to pioneer a new approach to transforming young people’s attitudes and aspirations through enterprise.

Headteacher Kelvin Gibbs, of Mundy Junior in Heanor, says the programme is ultimately about motivating children and giving them freedom to think for themselves, take risks and find their own solutions so they are better prepared for working life.

He added: “We’ll be telling other headteachers that it’s not just about re-branding tuck shops and building links with local business, though that’s part of it.

“It is about having an enterprise-based approach, looking at the whole culture of school life and getting children to take risks and find solutions to problems.”

Derbyshire Ready is part of the bigger Are You Ready? programme, which works nationally to create a culture of enterprise in education. Its first project, Rotherham Ready, was set up by Rotherham Borough Council and schools and businesses in the town to encourage teachers to look for all opportunities to encourage enterprise through normal subjects rather than treating enterprise as a subject in its own right.

Initiatives at Mundy Junior so far include involving pupils as tour guides on parents’ evenings; lending pupils £100 from PTA funds to invest over a year and using a literacy lesson to write letters to the local council complaining about dog dirt on a nearby path.

Catherine Brentnall, director of Are You Ready? said: “The Derbyshire heads have really got behind the whole approach and are achieving some fantastic things.

“Their decision to deliver the training for so many other local schools shows just how much they believe in what they are doing and is a great example of their own enterprise.”

The Derbyshire Ready programme is backed by Derbyshire County Council as part of its Journey to Excellence strategy to raise standards and inspire pupils about learning and life.