Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

Northern Education Trust Students Take Part in Dragon?s Den Style Challenge

20th Jul 2015

Northern Education Trust Students Take Part in Dragon?s Den Style Challenge

The winning team ? The Ferns Academy with their prize - back row far left, Ben Dyer, managing director of Youth Enterprise CIC. Back row far right, Les Walton CBE, chair of the Northern Education Trust. Principal Debra Murphy, is far right second row.

Primary and secondary school children from across the North of England arrived at Teesside University Student?s Union this week ready for a day of challenge, teamwork and creativity - and they certainly weren't let down!

All children involved in the finals came from academies sponsored by the Northern Education Trust, which operates 20 academies throughout the North East and North West of England. Children from all the schools have been working on their enterprise skills throughout the academic year with a main focus on teamwork, communication, leadership and innovation.

The teams representing their schools were chosen from previous enterprise challenges that had taken place at each school with tasks set to get them involved in enterprise from an early age and to give them the core competencies they will need for future careers.

The finals gave students the opportunity to visit four themed ?Dragon?s Den? areas consisting of marketing, sales, finance and product design tasks.

The winning concept ? far left, principal of The Ferns Academy, Debra Murphy, with her talented team of product developers.

These tasks were then judged by more than 10 business representatives from across the North East who were acting as ?Dragons? for the day. The dragons were really impressed with all the teams that took part in the challenge and commended the children for their efforts.

Les Walton CBE, chair of the Northern Education Trust, was very impressed and pleased with the huge effort made by all those who attended. He said:

?Days like today will be fondly remembered by all those taking part as a day when new friends were made, new skills were learned and some very important life experiences gained for the future.

?As a trust, we believe that giving children the opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills and their confidence, which events such as this provide, is just as important as improving their core academic skills and it has given me great pleasure to see how keen they have all been to take part.?

The challenge for the day was for all students to create the perfect pencil case. Sponsored by Ryman as part of a national campaign to encourage entrepreneurship, there were five prizes awarded overall.

The overall winners were the Ferns Primary Academy in Bolton. Two awards were won by Stockton schools, The Grangefield Academy which won the prize for product design and the Oak Tree Primary Academy, which won the prize for marketing. The finance prize went to Thorp Academy in Ryton, Tyne and Wear, whilst the persuasive skills of Blyth Academy earned them the prize for sales.

Ben Dyer is managing director of Youth Enterprise CIC which is running The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge, the UK?s largest enterprise competition in the UK. Last year over 30,000 young people from 160 schools took part in the challenge which is fronted by former Dragons Den star, Theo Paphitis.

Ben was really pleased with the way the day went. He said:

?Youth Enterprise CIC is a not for profit organisation aimed at improving the enterprise and employability skills of young people across the UK. Seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of the children taking part was amazing and I am thrilled that we have been able to make a difference and bring a wider perspective to their life experience.?

As the overall winners of the Enterprise Challenge, The Ferns Academy will now go on to compete in next year?s Ryman National Enterprise Challenge and whilst there, they will also get the opportunity to meet Theo Paphitis.