“In our view, entrepreneurship describes a state of mind which strives to solve problems rather than accept defeat. We don’t think everyone should set up a business, although we want to help those that wish to. We do believe that an entrepreneurial mind-set gives people the life skills to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. We are seeking out innovative solutions to help more young people succeed, be ‘life ready’, ‘work ready’ and independent.”
Sir Rod Aldridge discussing entrepreneurial education.

In our academies entrepreneurship provides context for the learning of core subjects and should be integrated into all areas of academy life. We focus on the development of entrepreneurial qualities, rather than only teaching business skills. These qualities include passion, determination, risk-taking, problem-solving, teamwork and creativity. Our academies can also add additional qualities to this core list – for example social responsibility is a focus at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.

Entrepreneurship should feed into all lessons, activities such as after school clubs, any rewards system and our work with the broader community. All students should have the opportunity to take part in stretching, entrepreneurial-related activities within and outside of the formal curriculum. These should be based on a ‘learning through doing’ approach, ensuring that we bring the real world into the classroom, and take the classroom out into the real world.

The Trust is committed to bringing together the best in entrepreneurial practice at all our academies to produce a set of standards, measurements and expectations that define the Aldridge approach to entrepreneurship and its impact on outcomes.

Our schools and students have won numerous awards for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education. Most recently Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s director of entrepreneurship Claire Webster was recognised with the won the Outstanding Contribution to Education in Sussex Award at the Brighton Youth in Action awards 2015, and Darwen Aldridge Community Academy was named one eleven schools from eleven countries across Europe to have won the Entrepreneurial School of the Year Award 2015, a national and European recognition of the best schools championing entrepreneurship education.

Our local clusters receive advice and support to develop dedicated areas called ‘Creates’ in our academies. Each Creates centre includes business incubation workspaces. They share the same aims – to foster entrepreneurship and social enterprise; to create opportunities for links with the community and local businesses; and to offer training, advice and challenge for students and community members. Please see the links below for more information on our Creates Hubs:

Darwen Creates

Kensington Creates

On a visit to the Academy in May 2016 Under Secretary of State for Education Lord Nash said that “Kensington Creates is clearly helping to inspire the students as well as being extremely beneficial to entrepreneurs. The Academy is a clear example of how linking business with education can drive aspiration. It was excellent to hear the students speak so enthusiastically about their school and the opportunities they have.”

Read the Independent newspaper’s report on how instilling a sense of entrepreneurship can improve learning outcomes