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Monday, 18 June, 2001, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Schools to promote 'enterprise culture'
Sir Howard Davies
Sir Howard Davies will lead the independent review
Schools and colleges can expect to play a greater role in promoting an "enterprise culture", as the government commissions a review of the role of business in education.

The government wants to see stronger links between business and schools, giving pupils and students a better understanding of their future role and responsibility in the economic community.

If we are to have the deeper and wider entrepreneurial culture we need, we must start in our schools and colleges

Gordon Brown

The inquiry would examine the scale and effectiveness of existing schemes, such as the adopt-a-school initiative, where businesses pair up with a local school, a spokeswoman for the Treasury said.

"It will examine current attitudes towards business and the economy - not just among students, but among teachers too - and establish the kinds of factors that drive those attitudes," she said.

The review would also examine how other countries, such as the United States, promote a culture of enterprise, she added.

In time for budget

Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, has been appointed to conduct the independent inquiry and will be required to make policy recommendations in time for the next budget.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown: "We must start in our schools"
Giving details of a set of measures to boost entrepreneurs in the UK, Chancellor Gordon Brown spoke of the need to "spread the spirit of enterprise from the classroom to the boardroom".

Universities had a major role to play in generating ideas and providing high-level skills crucial for productivity and growth, Mr Brown said.

"If we are to have the deeper and wider entrepreneurial culture we need, we must start in our schools and colleges.

"We want every young person to hear about business and enterprise in school, every college student to be made aware of the opportunities in business - and to start a business, every teacher to be able to communicate the virtues and potential of business and enterprise," he said.


The Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, said: "It is vital for a healthy economy that young people understand the importance of enterprise and are given the support they need to succeed in their working lives".

The Learning and Skills Council provided an important link between the business community and young people, Ms Morris said.

Peter Westgarth
Peter Westgarth says it is important to work with children from a young age
"We are also making sure that school children get more chances to do work experience to help them prepare for the world of work," she added.

Peter Westgarth from Young Enterprise UK supported the move.

"Unless we start with young people - as young as primary school age - in developing their enterprise skills, their understanding of work and basic economics (without calling that and making it too heavy), then we're going to miss out later in the global economy," he said.

Union caution

General secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, John Dunford, expressed caution, saying this was "yet another initiative for schools".

"Schools are already overloaded with government initiatives of higher priority than this," Mr Dunford said.

But he welcomed the opportunity for business people and teachers to create productive links.

See also:

18 Jun 01 | Business
Brown to target price-fixers
05 May 01 | Education
MBA for entrepreneurs
24 Mar 01 | Mike Baker
Business moves into UK and US schools
09 Feb 01 | Education
Japanese teaching 'lacks flair'
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