Europe watches creative Scots

12th March 1999 at 00:00
Richard Coton, who presided over last week's conference, made it clear that work and enterprise were not intended to replace education. Mr Coton chairs the International Design, technology, Enterprise Support network (IDES), a ginger group and think-tank which aims to spark ideas in this field.

"We are talking here about learning and teaching," Mr Coton, depute head at Eastwood High, said. "It's education through enterprise, which means making teaching more relevant and effective, and trying out more ways of doing so more creatively."

There was an international consensus that "no education system could call itself relevant unless it had education for work at all its levels and in all its parts".

But some remain to be convinced. In its response to the Government's White Paper on Scottish education, North Lanarkshire described education for work and enterprise as "little more than a concept searching for substance".

Whether the unconverted are listening or not, Europe is certainly watching. A report just published by the European Round Table of Industrialists, to which 44 of the top European companies belong, has recommended that other countries should adopt the approach taken by the pioneering schools enterprise programme in Scotland "without delay".

The report noted that, since the programme started in Scotland, the number of people interested in starting a business has risen by 35 per cent.

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