There are already a number of opportunities in schools for pupils to develop their entrepreneurial skills. The new business GCSE, which was first taught in the 2017/18 academic year, is intended to enable pupils to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individuals. In 2014, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum for the first time, as it is now taught as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11-16 year olds. Schools are also able to cover enterprise and entrepreneurship teaching within their personal, social, health and economic education.
In addition to this the government’s careers strategy, published in December 2017, aims to give young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn from employers about work and the skills that are valued in the workplace. It introduces a new expectation that all secondary schools should offer every young person at least seven encounters with employers as part of a high-quality careers programme during their education, including those who are self-employed.
The Careers & Enterprise Company’s network of enterprise advisers supports the delivery of this ambition. Enterprise advisers are senior business volunteers who help schools to work with local businesses. The network is already operating in over half of secondary schools and colleges, and will be available to all of them by 2020.
Character education is also important, and the great majority of schools provide this through the culture and ethos of the school, and through extra-curricular activities. Studies have found that skills such as self-confidence, tenacity and resilience have a strong role to play in outcomes in adult life, such as being in work, wage levels, or doing well in higher education. One of the five foundations for building character is the world of work, which includes entrepreneurship.