The Duke, who has a special interest in business and enterprise, visited Herringthorpe Infants school in Rotherham, South Yorks, where he met teachers, pupils and staff involved in the award-winning education programme, Rotherham Ready.
Herringthorpe is the only Infant school in the world to have an entrepreneurship speciality and the Duke saw children as young as four who are learning about the skills and attitudes needed in the world of work and business.
Rotherham Ready, which was launched in 2005, has become internationally acclaimed for its approach to integrating enterprise into learning for all children aged 4-19. The town won the prestigious Enterprising Britain competition in 2010 for this work. And in 2011, following the launch of the national facing part of the programme, ‘Are You Ready?’, won the StartUp Britain ‘Best Enterprise Support’ award at the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Rotherham Ready Project Officer Catherine Brentnall: “The Duke recognised the disconnect between education and business and seemed genuinely impressed with the way we’re bridging the gap and the real impact our work is having on children and young people. What was really encouraging was that he seemed interest in the national significance of the programme and the wider impact we can have across the UK.”
Nancy Cresswell-Hall, 6, was one of the many pupils who chatted to the Duke during his visit to Herringthorpe Infants. She told him all about a classroom exercise based on the shoddy service given by the company who provided the Emperor’s New Clothes. The Duke also met Danny West who set up his own successful pizza party business and now also works as a Rotherham Ready mentor.
Following the success of Rotherham Ready, the programme has been replicated in Hull, North Lincolnshire, Calderdale, Scarborough, and most recently, Derbyshire in a bid to help young people develop alternatives to the unprecedented challenges they now face amidst youth unemployment of a million plus.