Gove on social enterprise: good start, could do better

The education secretary champions social enterprise as tool for active citizenship but is reluctant to include it in the national curriculm, says former Apprentice contestant Melody Hossaini. This is from her article in the Guardian (describing activity by her organisation at the recent Sunday Times Education Festival)…

We wanted to give young people the opportunity to put their statements of “If I were the education minister, I would …” to Michael Gove himself. Over one month, we collected young people’s statements across social media platforms using #GoveYouthView – and at the festival we worked with a group of young people to draw out their top questions for the education secretary.

These questions included why he had scrapped the January exams – a question which was met with applause – how the minister can engage with educators and another question about fair and free access to quality careers education.

Two 15-year-old InspirEngage young ambassadors, Jack and Zainab, who had been a part of shaping our one-year programme, social enterprise revolution, that works with schools and communities to build social enterprise into the curriculum, asked Gove whether he had any plans to integrate social enterprise and life skills into the national curriculum.

In response, he said: “We should encourage active citizenship and I have been impressed by the number of social enterprises that are helping young people to play a bigger role in the community and across the country – I think it’s a wholly good thing,”

He continued: “One of the things I’ve been discussing with headteachers is how we can make it easier and help young people and schools play a part in active citizenship and social enterprises of the kind that InspirEngage exemplify.”

I think Mr Gove’s comment is an extremely helpful one, particularly for social enterprises. But I’m concerned by the education secretary’s apparent reluctance to build these components into the curriculum, social enterprises play an important role in encouraging active citizenship.

Michael Gove was right when he said it should be easier for young people and schools to play a part in active citizenship and I believe that putting social enterprise in the national curriculum would help achieve this.

Melody Hossaini is founder and chief executive of InspirEngage International. In 2011 she became the first social entrepreneur to take part in BBC’s The Apprentice.

More at: Gove on social enterprise: good start, could do better

Do you agree with Melody Hossaini that social enterprise should be included in the national curriculum? Should room be found or is it just not feasible to include everything, no matter how worthy? Please let us know what you think…

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