Independent Enterprise and Skills Development Board for Croydon Proposal

Setting-up an independent Enterprise and  Skills Development Board for Croydon is being proposed by Charlotte Davies, who is Chair of South Croydon Community Association.

Proposed initial meeting afternoon Friday 9 January

The idea is that the Board should be independent of any Government agency, setting long-term goals for skills development and encouraging and promoting such across the Borough in all agencies that work with young people.

Charlotte suggests that:

  • ‘such a Board should be uncompromising and set high expectations of both young people and those that support their development.’
  • ‘we start 2015 with every intention of ensuring that every young person in Croydon is properly prepared to start work with the basic soft and hard skills necessary for the work place.’

Charlotte has worked in this area of education for 25 years and has various articles and resources published on the subject so to get the ball going, she has drafted the proposal set out below.

If you would like to be involved and help set-up a strong Board to support such a proposal please let her know and she will  set-up an initial meeting of interested parties on the afternoon of Friday 9 January. ‘ I hope to get people from industry, the residents, and volunteer groups so that we have the breadth and gravitas to hold all agencies to account.’

If you want to be involved, but cannot make an

initial meeting please also let her know at

If you know people you think are just right to get involved

please draw this blog posting to their attention.

 Croydon Enterprise and Skills Board



  1. 2014 has seen a lot of adverse comment across Croydon about the low skill levels of Croydon School leavers.
  2. Although Croydon exam results at GCSE are average by National standards, they are low compared to other outer London Boroughs to the South of London. Value added at 16-18 years in London is poor.
  3. Croydon has more young people in education than any other London Borough.
  4. Croydon aspires to be a Tech City. The UK already struggles to supply high skilled industries with skilled staff.
  5. For decades Croydon has had some kind of Government funded Business Education agency that has suffered from lack of vision and long-term planning (and funding) and a disconnect between the needs of educational agencies and employers.
  6. Croydon already has a wide variety of patches of excellence in skills and enterprise education and some areas of absolute excellence, such as:

* Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College;

* Young Enterprise South London is based in Croydon, it is the most successful YE area in the UK;

* The BRIT School is hugely successful in a wide range of performing Arts enterprises;

* Many volunteer and faith groups run enterprise activities for youngsters in the holidays;

* Tech City run “Code Club”;

* The Police Cadets;

* The Armed Forces run the TA and support skills development in schools.


Within Croydon we the community set-up an Enterprise and Skills Development Board; the objective being to promote the development of skills for employment across Croydon in all schools, voluntary and faith groups.

To establish a sense that every child in Croydon has a Right to be trained in a wide range of skills to prepare them for life; and with that Right comes the responsibility to take on challenges and actively develop skills.

That the Board promote a basic framework for all skills development for all people aged 5 years to 19 years of age. The objective of that skills framework would be that it empowers individuals to manage and develop their own skills for life. That employers of all sizes would be encouraged to go on developing those skills when youngsters enter employment, whether full or part-time.

That the Board supports and promotes skills development intra-curricular and extra-curricular, both in and out of schools and colleges.

That the Board would consist of 8-12 people, who are drawn from industry, education and residents. That the Board is broad and senior enough to be able to hold agencies to account that do not develop the skills of youngsters in their care.

That the Board would aspire to achieve the highest level of participation in Enterprise activities across Croydon and within all schools and colleges in Croydon.

In order to promote skills development and to promote the existing enterprise agencies that operate within Croydon, the Board will be able to raise funds and employ people to promote participation by all agencies working with young people in Croydon.

That the Board and its employees build-up programmes of skills development opportunities that bring industry and education together through:

  • Enterprise challenges;
  • Activities to support the curriculum;
  • Work experience;
  • Activities that support careers development and understanding;
  • Quality assuring smaller providers of enterprise activities.

Basic philosophy of experiential learning and skills development

Experiential learning aims to change students’ methods of working so that they are more effective in their use of key skills in all aspects of their lives; and that skills development needs to be over a long period of time to be effective. Huddlestone, CEI  Warwick University Report 2001.

Example of key skills, piloted by BP in the 1990’s:

time management;


problem solving and decision making;



team working and inter-personal skills;

and presentation skills (Gordon Bell 1998)

Bell’s research identified that for key skills to be successfully embedded:

  1. schools focused on one skill for a set period e.g a half-term
  2. across all areas of the curriculum
  3. the pastoral system coordinated the students skills development.

Kolb consolidated the concept of experiential learning: Experience, Reflection and Conceptualisation, Action, and Further Experience.

Key elements

  1. Planning including clear identification of skills to be developed
  2. Under take activity
  3. Reflection the expectation is that as much time is given to evaluation and reflection as to the activity
  4. Start again planning a new activity.

IT requirements

Students need to be able to build-up a file of documentation supporting their key skills development across the formal curriculum and co-curricular activities.  Also,  identify their learning from work experience and part-time employment.

If input by the students in shared computer space teaching staff will have the records available for report writing and references; students will have a record for writing applications for UCAS and employment.

A website to promote enterprise and skills development opportunities to schools, colleges, volunteer groups, and young people. Also, to celebrate successes in Enterprise activities and skills development across the Borough.

Charlotte Davies NPQH FRSA


Tel: 0208 760 5037



About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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One Response to Independent Enterprise and Skills Development Board for Croydon Proposal

  1. Pingback: Good Start for proposed independent Croydon Enterprise and Skills Development Board | History & Social Action News and Events

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