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St Patrick’s College Dungannon scoops UK Entrepreneurial School of the Year gong

NI school recognised for their outstanding implementation of entrepreneurship education programmes with European Award

The 6th edition of The Entrepreneurial School (TES) Awards took place virtually recently from Berlin as part of the European Vocational Skills Week.

Thirty-nine innovative academic and vocational schools from 25 European countries were selected at the national level for their cutting-edge vision and outstanding implementation of entrepreneurship education programmes. 51 educationalists gathered online to receive their school’s award and connect in engaging debates.

The TES Awards is an annual recognition led by Junior Achievement (JA) Europe that aims at providing a supportive and motivational framework to guide schools, headmasters and teachers from across the continent in their entrepreneurial learning initiatives.

St Patrick’s College, Dungannon, nominated by Young Enterprise NI to recognise the high level of entrepreneurial activity and business engagement that the school gets involved in each year, went on to win the UK Entrepreneurial School of the Year 2020.

This is the first time a local school has been named the UK winner and is a great reflection on their investment in entrepreneurship education.

The judges specifically looked at:

– Entrepreneurship education activities including most of the teachers and the students
– The vision and plan the school has for entrepreneurship education
– Specific recourses allocated to entrepreneurship education
– The school has actively supported teachers’ continuing professional development and training within entrepreneurship education

– How the school includes the local community and business sector in the activities.

Presenting the award, Education Minister Peter Weir said:  “I am delighted to be here to present this the UK Entrepreneurial School of the Year 2020 to St Patrick’s College. I especially want to congratulate them on being the first school from Northern Ireland to achieve this great accolade.

“I believe that a strong education system is the foundation of a strong economy and a strong society.  Now, more than ever, we need well-qualified; skilled; robust; and adaptable young people to help build our economy.

“Strong links between our schools and the business sector are vitally important in developing the skills that employers need.  The links we celebrate today will enable young people to respond innovatively to the needs of industry and society, both now and in the future.

“I want to acknowledge the work Young Enterprise NI continues to do in our schools to develop the skills of young people to ensure they leave education prepared for work and life.”

Catherine McHugh, Principal of St Patrick’s College, said:  ‘We are very proud to have been announced the TES UK Entrepreneurial School 2020 in recognition of the range of activities and opportunities offered to our students to build their entrepreneurial skills, links and experiences.

As a school community we are focused on ensuring students have access to business and industry links, that they hear from leaders, innovators and creators so that they become self-reflective, motivated young people who are ready to take up their place as full contributors in the working world of the 21st Century. We are focused on offering events that build flexible and critical thinkers, so that students value the importance of collaboration, taking risks and realise the value in lifelong learning. This award is a recognition of the breadth of work that takes place across the school, led by the Head of Curriculum, Mr Curry and contributed to by teachers and support staff  including partnerships with local business and industries, who have provided mentoring and investment in our young people. We are pleased to have been nominated by Young Enterprise Northern Ireland and delighted to have been awarded the title of UK Entrepreneurial School 2020.”

Further information on TES Awards is available here http://theentrepreneurialschool.eu/ 

At ManpowerGroup and JA Europe, we believe it is never too early to set the stage for a lifetime of achievement, fuelled by learnability and skills development. As tomorrow’s leaders are today’s students, teachers play a crucial role in building a strong basis towards youth’s future, as well as society’s. The new digital reality brings together a skill revolution which we all should adapt to, and so help our younger talents to be prepared for and guide them how to continuously nurture their employability.

The JA Europe TES Awards category encourages vocational and academic schools to put more emphasis on teaching entrepreneurial skills as a way to better prepare young people for the jobs of tomorrow. We are delighted that two JA schools – the Higher College for Engineering Wolfsberg from Austria and the Lycée Technique Agricole Ettelbruck from Luxembourg are competing under this category, with the winner being announced on 13 November by EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit. The voting is live until 10 November so there is still time to pick your favourite here.

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