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Plans to spread message about social enterprise at schools across Scotland

This news post is about 1 year old

There are plans to rollout the Social Enterprise Schools programme at every school in the country

Ambitious plans to inform every school pupil in Scotland about social enterprise have been revealed.

The Social Enterprise Academy is aiming to develop the next generation of global changemakers in its plans to roll out its Social Enterprise Schools programme to every school in Scotland by 2024.

Supported by the Scottish Government and in-keeping with its Social Enterprise Action Plan, the Social Enterprise Academy’s programme gives pupils hands-on experience in running a business with a social purpose.

The programme has already engaged more than 50,000 pupils from 938 schools (around 38% of all Scottish schools) across all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. Designed to be a hands-on experience for schools that empowers pupils to tackle causes important to them, the Social Enterprise Schools programme has already resulted in the creation of many social enterprises that have tackled issues as diverse as climate change to racism, and homelessness to bullying.  

Social Enterprise Schools enables every young person to step up, realise their potential, and create the change they want to see in the world. By giving young people a real-life experience of running their own social enterprise in school, the fully funded programme delivers transformational learning which impacts both them and their community while developing young people’s key core employability and entrepreneurial skills for the future.

St Bernard’s Primary School in Glasgow are a true social enterprise champion school having taken part in the programme for the last six years. The school’s social hub provides a community café every month which supports the local community with a place to socialise as well as also raise funds for the local Crookston Community Foodbank.

In response to the pandemic, the pupils at St Bernard’s started making and selling personalised hand-sanitisers and also provided letters with jokes and poems to local care homes. The St Bernard’s Social Enterprise Committee consists of two pupils from each class from P4-7.

Elaine MacEachen, head teacher of St Bernard’s Primary said: “Social enterprise plays a massive part in helping our pupils develop their passion to create the change they want to see within our local community.

“It has been such a privilege to watch our students over the past six years really realise their potential and action their ideas through the Social Enterprise Academy. Programmes like this give pupils the experience and platform to be contributing members of society from a young age and it is so important that we make the most of the opportunity to help them grow.”

Neil McLean, chief executive of Social Enterprise Academy, said: “Supporting young people to believe that they can truly make a difference in their communities and to the world we share is an essential component of education and the Social Enterprise Schools programme brings that to life.

“We’ve seen some incredibly entrepreneurial and change-driven young people emerge through the programme and we believe that every school in Scotland should have the same opportunity for its pupils to show the impact these young social entrepreneurs can have.  We need to see our young people as the assets they are in our communities: the way they respond to the challenge is inspiring!

“Reaching every school in the country is a bold ambition, but in the times we are living in, we need to be bold in empowering the next generation to create innovative businesses that not only bolster the economy and create jobs, but ultimately deliver a societal good.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, education secretary, said: “Inspiring children and young people to be active and contributing members within our local communities is central to our Curriculum for Excellence.

“Programmes like the Social Enterprise Academy’s provide a platform for learners to drive change at a young age and become responsible citizens embodying the values and ethos of our education system.

“I look forward to seeing the innovation, creativity and participation that it will create in schools and communities across Scotland.”

For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise Schools programme, visit the website.



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