A GROUP of caring schoolkids are fighting back against cyber bullies – and their plan is so successful it looks likely to hit other schools.
The youngsters at Gallowhill Primary have been praised after setting up a business aimed at making sure their pals do not get caught up in a web of hate online.
The pupils picked up a Social Enterprise in Schools Award for the anti-cyber bullying business, Support Me.
The enterprising P7 pupils deliver workshops to younger pupils in their school warning youngsters how to keep themselves safe while using the internet.
And after winning funding from a Dragon’s Den-style competition, they now plan to take the workshops out to other schools and set up a new website offering advice and support to children across Scotland.
As well as picking up an award, enterprising pupils schools across the country won the praise of leading Scots entrepreneurs including online Dragon’s Den star Shaf Rasul.
Mr Rasul said: “The social enterprise in schools programme is opening the minds of children and young people and fostering a culture of entrepreneurialism.
“It is a great example of how business leaders can get involved in the school curriculum to provide positive support to young people – and pass on valuable business and life experience.
“The pupils have shown an incredible level of ingenuity. Their enthusiasm and spark is truly inspiring.”
Paisley kids from St Andrew’s Academy and St Catherine’s Primary also picked up awards after setting up pupil-led businesses.
As part of the Social Enterprise in Schools programme, pupils get hands-on experience of running a social enterprise – with practical advice and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs.
The three Renfrewshire schools were hailed at a special ceremony at The Hub in Edinburgh to celebrate the best of entrepreneurial talent in primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland.
Children from over 300 schools manage social enterprise businesses, some with turnovers of up to £150,000.
The annual awards is the recognition of hard work of pupils taking part in the programme, delivered by the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy in partnership with the Scottish Government.
Sandra Ewan MBE, Manager for the Social Enterprise in Schools Programme at the Social Enterprise Academy, said: “By setting up a social enterprise these young people develop the practical and creative skills that are needed in the world of work and to run a business. Skills like communication and team work.
“And ultimately they learn that they can make their own ideas happen. The programme allows pupils of all abilities to shine – from the high achievers to those who find it harder to engage with academic teaching.”
Finance Secretary John Swinney also hailed the youngsters.
He said: “The creation of a business friendly and entrepreneurial Scotland starts in our schools. I am consistently impressed by the creative and innovative ideas that come from our young people.
“Taking part in the social enterprise in schools programme helps them develop the skills and confidence they need to take their ideas and turn them into real trading social enterprise businesses – enhancing their work readiness which will help build a smarter, wealthier and fairer Scotland.”