Children to become mini-entrepreneurs under regime of UCS headteacher who survived Nairobi bomb blast
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Schoolchildren need to learn how to become “self-starters” and entrepreneurs to prepare for the ever-changing world of work, the new headteacher of a Hampstead junior school has said.
Lewis Hayward, who has led the junior branch of University College School (UCS) since September, believes children as young as nine should learn to come up with original ideas to ready themselves for an uncertain job market.
From next year, older children at the all-boys school in Holly Hill will become mini-entrepreneurs to create, launch and market a business from scratch under his new regime.
The 47-year-old said: “Education is not just about preparing the boys to get fantastic exam results but also to get them a job in the future.
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“Children at school now need to be self-starters and have the imagination to have their own ideas.”
He added: “It’s going to be less and less about getting them into traditional jobs, and that’s exciting to be involved in.
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“It’s to spark their creativity and imagination, and to think about these things from a young age.”
Children in Years 5 and 6, aged between nine and 11, will work in lesson time on their business projects and any money made from their ventures would go towards the school’s charitable causes.
Projects could include a wormery, which a pupil could then market by building a website.
The UCS role is Mr Hayward’s first headship, having been deputy headteacher at rival Highgate Junior School in North Road, Highgate.
The Oxford-educated father-of-two, whose 22-year-old daughter is currently playing the lead in the Royal Ballet’s production of Manon at the Royal Opera House, began his teaching career at a Nairobi primary school in 1990.
He then moved to Saudi Arabia to teach English as a foreign language at Saudi Aramco oil company for five years before returning to the Kenyan capital in 1998.
He was working as co-founder and editor of a newspaper in the city when the United States embassy was bombed in a suspected terror attack, killing hundreds.
Mr Hayward, of Croydon, remembered: “It was a pretty traumatic day. There were dead bodies everywhere and it smelled like charred meat off a barbecue.”
Following the bombing, the newspaper folded and he moved back to England virtually penniless.
His friends encouraged him to go back into teaching and he managed to secure a post at Holmewood House Prep School in Kent, before rising to head of classics at Highfield Prep School in Berkshire just two years later.
“Having had a break from teaching and doing something different for a while, I think I got a lot more out of it,” he said.