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Northland Enterprising Teachers Project

Northland Enterprising Teachers Project to bring enterprise approach to every Northland secondary school.

New steps to create an enterprise approach to education in every Northland school are now being taken following the launch of the unique pilot programme earlier this month.

First of its kind in New Zealand, the Northland Enterprising Teachers pilot project aims to grow enterprise education in the region by providing teachers with a strong grounding in what enterprise culture really means. Following a conference launch, attended by principals and senior teachers from 90 percent of Northland secondary schools, ‘enterprise cells’ will now be set up in each school, guided by Project Director Frank Leadley, who will take a hands-on role in ensuring the project follows through.

“We want to really create enthusiasm for teaching and for an enterprise approach among Northland’s teachers and I will continue to work closely with schools as they develop their programmes,” said Mr Leadley. The NET project came about more…through the observation that although teachers were actively involved in encouraging entrepreneurial skills, they had not been personally involved in practical enterprise and entrepreneurial activities.

Feedback from conference participants has been positive. Geoff Harris of Tikipunga High School said that the most valuable components of the conference for him were “shifting goals and pedagogy to improve relevance, engagement and effectiveness of educational experiences beyond the curriculum”. Lynda von Lyn from Ruawai College, not yet involved to date, said “the organization and conduct of the conference was superb. We now want to introduce YES, YEP and NET into our school.” Trustee Pete Mullenger, Kamo High School said that as a board member he now has an insight into the NET project and has many new innovative ideas on how to ensure its success.

NET is a school-based professional development programme for teachers which aims to make the curriculum relevant to the needs of students and seeks to develop ‘job creators’ rather than ‘job seekers’. Over the next few months a series of workshops and seminars will keep up the momentum and provide forums for the sharing of ideas and experiences between schools as they formulate of strategies for adoption in 2005.

The NET project has strong support from NZ Trade and Enterprise (via the Enterprise Culture Skills and Activities Fund) and major Northland More… sponsors Top Energy and Northpower.

A key outcome of the NET project is to see the Young Entrepreneurs Programme active in every Northland school. YEP, almost through its two and a half year pilot period in Northland, developed from the YES (Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme) a national programme and encourages entrepreneurial approach with sixth and seventh form students. Several Northland student businesses are flourishing as a result of guidance and support through YEP, which is a crucial component of Enterprise Northland’s Enterprise Education Strategy.

“Our goal for the conference was to provide a stimulating and professional event that would inaugurate the NET project. Our goals have been exceeded and we now have a highly motivated group of teachers,” said Frank Leadley. “The task is to maintain the momentum and to provide resources, support and encouragement to ensure the NET project fulfills all expectations.”

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