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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21146: Tom Mason (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 23 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to FSB Scotland's call for all school pupils to receive enterprise education, and what its position is on whether teacher numbers are sufficient to deliver this.

Answered by: John Swinney 31 January 2019

We recognise enterprise and entrepreneurship education as being key to future economic growth. Enterprise and employability skills are embedded within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and are referenced in the core curriculum document “Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for Learning, Skills for Life and Skills for Work”: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/btc4.pdf .

Through Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), schools and local authorities have the flexibility to develop and deliver a curriculum which best suits their local needs and circumstances, including enterprise education. Further guidance to schools is provided by Education Scotland via its “Enterprise in Education” resource available on the National Improvement Hub: https://education.gov.scot/improvement .

We have provided £250,000 funding this year to support the development of enterprise skills through Scotland’s Enterprising Schools (SES) - Scotland’s national platform to develop enterprising mind-sets in schools, which supports all partners involved in school enterprise. It aims to build the capacity of teaching professionals by equipping them with the understanding, skills and access to the required information, knowledge and training that enables them to confidently embed enterprise within the curriculum. SES has delivered professional learning sessions, raising awareness of the resources available, in all 32 local authorities and, in December 2017, was awarded the Professional Learning Award by the General Teaching Council Scotland. More information about SES can be found at: https://enterprisingschools.scot/ .

Developing the Young Workforce, Scotland’s youth employment strategy, aims to ensure all young people develop skills to support securing positive destinations, and undertake relevant work-related learning as part of their curriculum from 3 to 18. New standards and guidance materials have been developed, with the aim of enhancing learners’ career education and the development of employability and career management skills. This includes developing an understanding of enterprise, entrepreneurship and self-employment. The key documents can be found at: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/Developing%20the%20Young%20Workforce%20(DYW) .

Statistics published on 11 December 2018 show teacher numbers increased for the third year in row - rising to 51,959 in 2018, up 447 on the previous year. There are now more teachers than at any time since 2010, and the ratio of pupils is at its lowest since 2013.