Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, has praised a new report from The Entrepreneurs Network, published in partnership with leading national education charity, Young Enterprise, which reveals how applied learning can be more successfully implemented in schools.
Speaking at the report’s launch, Greening said the research shows how applied learning can play a crucial role in delivering on Rishi Sunak’s ambition to give every child the highest possible standard of education, as was set out by the Prime Minister earlier this month. She also noted that applied learning can drive stronger social mobility and levelling up, and ultimately called on the government to give it greater recognition and support.
Also commenting was Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, who said:
“Too many young people are leaving education without the confidence and skills they need to be able to adapt and reinvent themselves in an ever changing world” and also called on the government and education sector to “extend applied learning’s opportunities to all schools, to back our budding entrepreneurs and ensure that all young people can benefit.”
Applied learning provides opportunities for young people to use their classroom learning in real-life, practical situations. This not only helps reinforce the learning but also enhances its relevance to young people, who can begin to appreciate how that learning can support future careers and life goals.
What Applied Learning Really Looks Like, written by Dr Anton Howes, highlights several successful case studies to show teachers and policymakers what applied learning actually looks like in practice – particularly in cases where time and resources are limited. Rather than just being a standalone, extracurricular activity, the report shows how applied learning can be integrated into school timetables and across the curriculum, to make its benefits available to all students, regardless of their area or background.
The report sets out concrete examples of applied learning in action to inspire teachers and help them articulate their vision to colleagues, managers, and parents, as well as how headteachers and senior leadership teams can support them. It also recommends that policymakers help spread best practice in applied learning, by:
- Providing a small pool of seed funding for schools to get applied learning schemes off the ground;
- Creating knowledge exchanges through events and conferences, for best-practice in applied learning to be shared between schools;
- Recognising and celebrating schools that have pioneered applied learning;
- Emphasising preparation for adulthood throughout the entire school curriculum;
- Encouraging and making it easier for businesses and non-profits to reach out to schools to offer their support.
Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, said:
“Earlier this month, Rishi Sunak said the reason he came into politics was to provide every child the highest possible standard of education. This important report clearly shows the role that applied learning can play in delivering on that ambition and how crucial it is in driving stronger social mobility and levelling up. That’s because whoever you are, you have to succeed in the real world, not a theoretical one. I hope that the government can now give applied learning greater recognition and support, inspiring more schools and helping to boost young people’s confidence and prepare them for life beyond school.”
Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets said:
“Young Enterprise has been doing exceptional work for many years to encourage young people to think and act like entrepreneurs. Through this important report, they showcase ways that teachers themselves have also been taking their own initiative, using innovative methods to prepare young people for wider opportunities in the world beyond school.”
“Too many young people are leaving education without the confidence and skills they need to be able to adapt and reinvent themselves in an ever changing world. As this report shows, by giving children a taste of the roles and responsibilities they can expect in adulthood, applied learning has a unique role to play. This is an opportunity for both Government and the educational sector to work on finding ways to extend applied learning’s opportunities to all schools, to back our budding entrepreneurs and ensure that all young people can benefit.”
Dr Anton Howes, Head of Innovation Research at The Entrepreneurs Network, and author of What Applied Learning Really Looks Like, said:
“This report shows how applied learning can greatly improve students’ engagement, passion for learning, and preparation for adulthood. What is needed now is to spread that success to schools all over the country. By highlighting how some schools have achieved it, in ways that are frankly inspiring, and which minimise pressure on teacher time and school resources, this report shows how the benefits of applied learning can be made available to all.”
Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, said:
“In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever before that we provide young people with real-world learning opportunities to develop their confidence, attitudes and key employability skills to help build their futures.
Our research tells us that 96% of teachers believe that being able to apply learning in real-world contexts is important. Through this report, we urge policymakers, educators, communities, and the government to recognise the fantastic work already taking place in schools and work together on a renewed push to increase opportunities for young people to apply their learning in schools across the country.”