To read this content please select one of the options below:

Enterprise education in schools and the role of competency frameworks

Matthew Draycott (Cfel, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, UK)
David Rae (Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 8 March 2011




The period 2002‐2010 has seen significant growth in enterprise education in schools in England, accompanied by the growth of guidelines and frameworks to provide educational and assessment structures. This paper intends to explore the questions: What does “enterprise” mean in the context of 14‐19 education? What is the purpose and contribution of competence frameworks and related structures for the learning and assessment of enterprise education? How effective are they? and How might enterprise education frameworks evolve in response to changes in the post‐ recessionary economic, employment and educational landscape?


The paper conducts a critical review of competency frameworks introduced in England to assist with enterprise education primarily for the 14‐19 age group. These are compared on the basis of their educational purpose and rationale (“why?”), their content (“what skills and knowledge they include”), and the approaches to teaching, learning and assessment they recommend (“how?”).


The analysis discusses the following questions to reflect on the progress and direction of enterprise education: How broadly or narrowly should enterprise be defined? How useful is the term? Are the skills and related knowledge and attributes too broad or too soft?; and Is there too much emphasis on assessable outcomes, rather than on how enterprising learning takes place?

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the development of enterprise education for researchers, policymakers and practitioners in schools at an important point in the economic, educational and political cycle.


Enterprise education in schools requires critique of and reflection on what has been achieved, together with consideration of its future purpose, value, orientation and nature. There is a concern that the “delivery” of enterprise education takes place in ways which are not “enterprising” forms of learning, and that assessment drives the curriculum. Changes to definitions, frameworks and pedagogy are needed to clarify its future educational role.



Draycott, M. and Rae, D. (2011), "Enterprise education in schools and the role of competency frameworks", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 127-145.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles