Enabling Enterprise and the Fair Education Alliance

Today, Enabling Enterprise was one of twenty five leading organisations that launched the Fair Education Alliance. Alongside partners like Teach First, the CBI and Save the Children the alliance wants to focus our collective efforts on ending inequality in education.

Our Founder, Tom Ravenscroft, reflects on why Enabling Enterprise is part of the Alliance:


How the achievement gap widens

The Challenge

There are undoubtedly significant challenges that we face as a country in preparing children and young people for the future. Indeed, I set up Enabling Enterprise directly from seeing the contrast in the opportunities for students in disadvantaged or challenging schools to develop their understanding of the working world, and essential enterprise skills against their wealthier peers elsewhere.

We see gaps in achievement open up from when students are young, and widening all the way through their time in school. Intuitively, it makes sense that the cumulative nature of education means that falling behind early on makes closing those gaps again later that much more difficult.

That’s why at Enabling Enterprise we work with children from the age of 5, building the basics of empathy, resilience and essential social skills. These underpin their learning and continued enterprise skills development as they become adept to working in teams, leading others, problem solving, aiming high and staying positive despite setbacks. And it’s why the combined forces of the Fair Education Alliance are powerful for ensuring that the entire journey of an individual child can be supported and nurtured.


Creating a Transformational Impact:

Together, and with the leadership of Teach First, we have collectively agreed to focus our energies on five big impact goals over the next decade:

Narrow the gap in literacy and numeracy at primary school
Narrow the gap in GCSE attainment at secondary school
Ensure young people develop key strengths, including resilience and wellbeing, to support high aspirations
Narrow the gap in the proportion of young people taking part in further education or employment-based training after finishing their GCSEs
Narrow the gap in university graduation, including from the 25% most selective universities, by 8%

For Enabling Enterprise our focus is very much on supporting students to develop the key strengths to support high aspirations. We phrase it slightly differently, but there is no question that this goal aligns with our own mission: To ensure that one day, all students leave school equipped with the enterprise skills, experience of the working world and aspirations for future success.

Enabling Enterprise addresses this mission by working in partnership with seventy top businesses including UBS, Virgin and BT and in over 140 schools. We bring the world of work into the classroom through lesson-time projects, challenge days and trips out to those businesses.

However, we know that this can only be one angle of attack. It’s essential that to create the transformational impact that is required to truly close the gap in achievement there is a combined, collaborative and cumulative focus on these five areas which together will make a world of difference.

Looking to the Future

The real measure of success though, is not that 25 organisations have been able to come to a clear statement of the impact that they want to make. Nor is it that there has been support for the Alliance from across the political spectrum.

Instead, once the launch has been completed it will be about continuing to put in the hard graft in each of our organisations’ work and linking it together to actually achieve the impacts we want. Only then can we talk about a real achievement.

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