The Enterprise Academy at Parkhill School was an initiative launched in 2016 and formally opened in 2017 as a way of developing enterprise skills in young people with additional support needs (ASN) through hands-on vocational learning. The project sought to ensure a focus on the individual needs of each young person in order to support them into positive destinations.
The Enterprise Academy allows the school to build upon skills for work by developing the young people in line with their interests and aspirations. Young people attend the Academy from across the City with 3 course areas; Hospitality, Horticulture and Customer Service & Administration.
Several classrooms were repurposed to create practical learning spaces in the form of a replica Hilton hotel bedroom and bathroom, a professional kitchen, café area and an office. A boot room was added to the pre-existing Horticulture area at the rear of the school.
These areas allow the school to offer realistic work environments where young people can develop skills for learning, life and work.
This has had a huge effect on the life chances for our pupils as it has improved their prospects when moving on from school. By focusing on areas where our young people could gain employment, and by using real life work environments, we have seen a large increase of young people moving directly into employment or into courses related to the three curricular areas.
The project is now embedded into the curriculum of the school and within the Glasgow Senior Phase Programme. We aim to develop the project in the future by introducing a Health Care course as this will be a growth area for employment in the future and we can utilise facilities we already have within the school.
There were initial costs for the development of the rooms and there is now a budget that comes from GCC.
The most important factor when organising the project was to ensure that all partners - including parents and pupils - felt that they were involved in the process. Early on we set up a steering group with representatives from building, the school, SDS, the Local Authority, a parent rep and a pupil rep. This ensured that everyone was on board and that everyone felt they had a say.
It was also important to focus the project on delivering courses where our young people could get employment and the advice from SDS was vital to this.