Ash Lea School is a day, community special school for pupils aged between three and nineteen years who experience complex learning difficulties. They expressed a wish to deliver for some of their young people enterprise education.
We wanted to support such an initiative believing it to be in the best interests of the students. NGi believe exposing students to this type of curriculum action would help develop in them skills for life post school.
Some students had an idea to set up a sandwich service selling to staff, governors and parents/visitors to the school.
NGi were able to help staff at the school work out a programme that would expose the students to business activity. Alongside the Enterprise Adviser for the school, Natasha McCracken, working on behalf of the Careers and Enterprise Company, we set up a Dragon’s Den event for students to present their business plan.
The programme included a question and answer session with the purpose being to gently test student thinking and create opportunities to pass on advice.
Secondly NGi sourced funding of £60 for students to start their business, in this case to purchase the ingredients with which to make any orders received. Their business proposition suggested they would collect orders and payment would be made on customers receiving the order to a satisfactory quality.
Students met the dragons, presented and answered the questions asked and convinced those involved to part with the funding sourced. For those involved this meant a changed curriculum as they prepared to present. Also bringing in business based individuals as part of the process created a fresh challenge and motivated the students involved.
The students are running their business over several weeks; Neil Phipp their tutor, has linked activity to an accredited qualification in Enterprise Education. Our aim is to build up the confidence and self-esteem of these students so they progress onto more advanced activity. The culmination of this would be for the group to take part in the summer YouNG market with their peers from other schools in Nottinghamshire.