Enterprise Minister to visit Brighton school

Posted On 24 Nov 2011 at 4:31 pm

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk is due to visit a Brighton school next week.

Mr Prisk, the Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford, has been invited to the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy in Falmer on Thursday (1 December).

He will meet staff and students at the academy as well as principal Philomena Hogg and Aldridge Foundation chief executive Honor Wilson-Fletcher.

The foundation sponsors the £28 million academy which specialises in entrepreneurship.

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Mr Prisk is to be given a tour of the newly opened building including the “Brighton Creates” business centre, which is at the heart of the academy.

His tour comes on the same day as children, parents and staff are due to see a film about the recent school trip to India.

It also comes shortly after Honor Wilson-Fletcher spoke on Wake Up To Money on BBC Radio Five Live and the Today programme on Radio Four, criticising the Young Apprentice.

She said: “Many parents hear words like entrepreneurial and risk and don’t know how to help children develop these qualities.

“Unfortunately programmes such as the Young Apprentice or Dragons’ Den may give the impression that successful entrepreneurs are ruthless wheeler-dealers, simply in it for personal enrichment, and with little desire to work as a team, when the reality is quite different.”

She said that it was clear that where children were encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset they were more successful at school and in life.

As government figures showed a rise in youth unemployment, the Aldridge Foundation set out its tips for success. They include

  • Encourage considered risks – Encourage children to take considered risks. A generation of “cotton wool kids” are missing out on the resilience and independence learnt from taking calculated risks. Making a decision and having conviction in this will allow them to discover their strengths and to learn from real-life experience.
  • The importance of failure – Teach children to deal with failure. It is important children see failure as a learning process rather than a catastrophic endpoint. Show them that just because something hasn’t worked now, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be successfully achieved again with a fresh approach. An important part of this also is being careful not to “over praise”, which may make youngsters unaware of how hard they actually need to work for real achievement.
  • Give early responsibility – Give children responsibility early. Empower them to take responsibility for a task usually reserved for parents, for example, organising a family day out or planning a week of meals.
  • Smart pocket money – Instead of just giving children pocket money, challenge them to use the money to generate a return. Give them £5 and encourage them to spend it on something that will deliver £10 back, such as the ingredients to make then sell cakes, or offer a bonus for work well done.
  • Celebrate passion – Passion, putting your heart and soul into something you believe in, is an essential part of an entrepreneurial mindset. This can be developed by encouraging new interests or sparks of enthusiasm that children have. Whether it’s playing the guitar or learning about dinosaurs, taking an interest and talking to them about it will encourage them to stick with what they love. Equally, parents can lead by example and talk to their children about their own hobbies and interests.
  • Apply lessons to real life – Demonstrate how the things they learn at school are applied in real-life situations. For example, apply maths to calculate the cost per litre when refuelling the family car.

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