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News: MP hails groundbreaking Rotherham enterprise initiative

Posted on: September 23rd, 2008

John Healey MP has hailed the success of a groundbreaking enterprise education project in Rotherham that will “shape the future of Britain”.

The Wentworth MP said Rotherham Ready has put the borough at the forefront of innovative teaching on a global scale and is already having a significant impact on the quality of learning by enabling students to bridge the long-standing gap between business and education.

Rotherham Ready is now in the final year of its four-year lifespan and was pioneered by John Healey with the aim of providing all young people in the borough between the ages of four and 19 with entrepreneurial skills and business acumen. He said:

“The achievements of Rotherham Ready in the past four years are something the whole of Rotherham can be extremely proud of.

“By using enterprise as a legitimate learning tool for students to be creative and express themselves and use their own initiative it engages them in a new way of understanding.

“It is exactly the kind of forward thinking that is making people all over the world sit up and take notice of Rotherham.

“In fact, it is having such an impact that it is shaping the curriculum and it will shape the future of Britain.”

The extraordinary success of Rotherham Ready has meant five Rotherham schools and colleges have recently achieved the first ever Warwick Platinum Awards for excellence in enterprise education. The University of Warwick sets the national standard for enterprise and its new platinum award schools that are taking practice to a new level – all of which are from Rotherham.

In addition, Paula Harmer of Thorpe Hesley Junior School and Tina Otter from Maltby Crags Infants were this year named Regional Enterprise Teachers of the Year for the entire north of England. And in June 2007, Rotherham Ready, which is funded by Yorkshire Forward, broke the mould when it became the first ever organisation of its kind to undergo an Ofsted inspection, from which it received a glowing review.

John Healey MP was speaking at an event at Rotherham Town Hall that showcased the successes and accomplishments of Rotherham Ready, its award-winning teachers and the students who had played a major role in achieving Platinum Warwick Awards for their schools.

And two students from Thorpe Hesley Junior School made a particularly big impression on the government minister after explaining trials and tribulations of their enterprise – a successful fruit company.

“The skills that the pupils have displayed are evidence of the affect this project is having,” he said following Adam Crookes and Ben Parkin’s presentation on Fruit4u.

“As the children themselves have said it has made them more independent, confident, more creative and these are skills that are going to stand them in good stead in the work place, as well as equipping them well for life in general.”

Jackie Frost, Rotherham Ready’s project manager, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for us to show John Healey the progress Rotherham Ready has made in the borough as well as some of the major success stories we have enjoyed.

“We’re extremely proud of what is being achieved in Rotherham schools and that has been reflected in the awards which have been received.

“John has been so integral to Rotherham Ready since day one so to show him the fruits the project has bore in the last four years is an absolute pleasure and a credit to the schools and pupils of Rotherham.”