Editor's comment

26th June 2009 at 01:00
Reflections on a school year

Yes, they can: they are "can do". With schools closing for the summer break today in all but 11 authorities, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the efforts of those having that well-earned rest - pupils and staff. Our report on the winners of the Young Enterprise Scotland awards (p17) shows that the initiative, creativity and drive in many schools is astonishing - a heartening harbinger for the future in these times of challenge. While HMIE says schools can learn from their weaker brethren (p5), they can also learn from those at the top of their game.

The days are long gone - hopefully - when creating an enterprising culture in schools was regarded as supplying fodder for business or spreading propaganda about wealth creation. That was not a completely misguided perception in the days of youth training schemes, but the attitudes and activities on display at the YES awards demonstrated that schools have moved a world away from those times. We now expect them not just to show enterprise in business but to be enterprising in everything they do. It is as much about culture as it is about commerce.

This chimes with the increasing importance of encouraging pupils to be imaginative and creative, championed most effectively in this country (and beyond) by Sir Ken Robinson, who will set out his ideas in next week's TESS. As he noted, in this 10th anniversary year of his groundbreaking All Our Futures report, pupils must be allowed to "develop their talents, have their imaginations stimulated, leave school feeling confident not humiliated".

If producing bestselling chairs in a school in the far north of Scotland is a successful vehicle for driving forward such creativity, let's have them. They provide a happy slogan: chairs for schools - they need all the support they can get.

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