The History of the EPA
The Enterprise Practitioners Network was first set up in September 2007 by Eric Burton (then LTS, Enterprise Development Officer) and Jean Macmillan (then Scottish Government, Determined to Succeed, Senior Advisor). The network attracted some of the most enterprising practitioners in the country from all curricular areas and all education sectors. The group met three times a year to share ideas, resources and energy as well as taking inspiration from a host of fantastic speakers and external inputs. All attendees returned to schools and authorities brimming with enthusiasm and innovation. Every delegate commented how they always took away something from the networking events that could be applied straight away in the classroom. As time went on the group grew with new ‘Enterprising Practitioners’ being added and partners in the public, private and voluntary sector adding to the rich tapestry of this group. Membership of the group was necessarily fluid. Members joined events as they felt they could make a contribution or gain something from the group as required.
In 2010/2011 an extended team at LTS took baton passed by Eric, and worked with Jean to continue to facilitate three meetings a year. By the end of the “embedding” year of DtS one of the EPN meetings saw the books closed with over 100 applications to attend a network meeting! At the final EPN meeting of 2011 Neil McLennan (LTS Enterprise Development Officer) agreed to lead the group in the year following DtS existence. He challenged ‘Enterprising Practitioners’ to form a committee to help sustain this popular and valuable networking, support and CPD group. Following the final meeting under LTS/DtS funding and direction a band of practitioners formed a new association in the Scottish education landscape. The Enterprise Practitioners’ Association was formed! The founding committee agreed on the following objectives:
- to further, develop and promote enterprising teaching and learning ;
- to disseminate information to members of the association;
- to facilitate networking opportunities for members of the association, like minded practitioners and employers;
to liaise with any individuals, official bodies, institutions, associations and organisations associated with education, at home and abroad
And so in the year 2011/2012 ‘the EPA’ goes under its own steam’ and is ‘practitioner’ led. Already it has engaged a number of partners in education, community learning development and both the public and private sector. It has set out of provide three networking/CPD opportunities in its first year and to establish a web presence via blogging, twitter and Facebook. Furthermore it will represent the interests of both learners and practitioners who have an appetite to continue educating with an enterprising approach. Throughout this exciting growth period the mantra of “it is not in the classroom, then it is not happening’ has been at the forefront of the founders minds. That classroom however is not a physical restraint. Enterprising learning has a much wider ‘classroom’ than the constrained room that the word ‘classroom’ alludes to. Enterprising learning takes place in various places, at various times and with various people. The group aim to foster a wider understanding of how to create to those learning opportunities and the impact of enterprising learning.
The committee has not only been enterprising in its own actions setting up this new venture, but aspires to spread the message of enterprise to as many learners, educators and sectors as possible.
Please feel free to join as a member, or indeed to any of our events which may be of interest to you in your own learning journey.