19 shortlisted schools from across Scotland came together during the UN COP26 Climate Summit to pitch their social enterprise ideas to a panel of experts at a special COP26 themed Dragons’ Den event at Glasgow Strathclyde Union.


Kirkhill Primary from Newton Mearns were crowned overall primary school winners by a panel of experts, including Diana Ellis from WOSDEC, Sarah Wagner from After the Pandemic, Bayile Adeoti from Dechomai Events and Angela Halliday from Sodexo. Kyle Academy from Ayr presented their social enterprise virtually and were crowned the winners of the secondary school category. Renfrew High School and Uig Primary were also highly commended.


The pupils from Kirkhill Primary pitched their Development of Climate Justice Education programme which would see the creation of informative, creative resources for teachers to use in class and an online training programme. They also want to deliver live online lessons for children in schools.

Paul Tyler, Principal Teacher at Kirkhill Primary, said: “The pupils are absolutely delighted to be crowned the winners at the COP26 Dragons Den event here in Glasgow. The whole process of getting children to think about Social Enterprises and Climate Justice has been inspiring and we are honoured to be part of such an amazing opportunity for young people, giving them invaluable skills for life. We have made connections and had opportunities that we couldn’t have had in any other circumstance”.


The Dragons’ Den event is being delivered as part of the After The Pandemic programme for COP26 in partnership with Development Education Centre WOSDEC, who work closely together to ensure all educators across Scotland have access to high-quality Professional Learning opportunities and innovative learning and teaching practices. The Dragons’ Den event in particular was organised by Social Enterprise Academy, which since 2007 has delivered Social Enterprise Schools, innovated in partnership with the Scottish Government. 


Pupils across the country were challenged to create a social enterprise concept that is climate smart and future first. The programme is young people led and empowers pupils to tackle causes important to them in relation to climate change.


Neil McLean, CEO at Social Enterprise, said: “It is inspiring to see how young people across Scotland have been creating positive changes in their community. The pupils involved in the projects have shown us how their bright and bold ideas turn into innovative and profitable small social enterprises that really make a big difference.


“Congratulations to Kirkhill Primary and Kyle Academy and all of the shortlisted schools that presented in the final, it was such an inspiring day to be a part of. We’re not just seeing Scotland’s young people develop key entrepreneurial and employability skills, we’re seeing an empowered movement of young social entrepreneurs championing social issues that really matter to them. We are delighted to recognise and celebrate their achievements.”


Shortlisted schools included:

  1. UIG Primary
  2. St Margaret’s Academy
  3. Bridge of Allan Primary
  4. St Denis’ Primary
  5. Renfrew High School
  6. Mount Vernon Primary School
  7. Corpus Christi Primary
  8. Oakgrove Primary
  9. Braidbar Primary
  10. St Bernard’s Primary
  11. Kirkhill Primary
  12. St Ninian’s High School
  13. Gavinburn Primary
  14. St Francis Xavier’s Primary
  15. Woodfarm High School
  16. Hillview Primary
  17. James Young High School
  18. Kyle Academy
  19. Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School


For more information on how to get involved in the Social Enterprise Schools programme, please visit:


As the world’s attention is on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, there is no doubt that teachers across the UK will be looking at ways they can incorporate the themes from the conference into everyday teaching. EVERFI, a leading and global education company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society, has a free course available for teachers to run in the classroom, aimed at 11 – 14 year olds.

Speaking at COP26 the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi has expressed the importance of placing climate change topics at the heart of education, saying: ‘Empowering teachers in every school to deliver world-leading climate change education will not only raise awareness and understanding of the problem, but also equips young people with the skills and knowledge to build a sustainable future.’

The demand for education on social impact issues, such as sustainability,  is something that today’s students crave.  Some young people are even losing sleep over the thought of what our world will look like in the future1. Environmentalists like Great Thunberg, who is at COP26, have highlighted the critical importance of sustainability and the need for behaviour change in the way we live our lives.

EVERFI brings together national and regional partners so students can access high-quality learning resources, at no cost to schools. The platform offers self-paced online lessons with built-in assessments free to schools with unlimited student licenses and ongoing support.

To help teachers unlock the conversation around the topic of sustainability, EVERFI has created Sustainability Foundations, the ideal course to upskill secondary students. Students can explore environmental systems and understand how human health, climate change, global resource constraints, and animal welfare are all interconnected. The learning journey enables  students to practice making sustainable choices, reinforcing the concept that they have the agency to create sustainable change.

This curriculum-linked course provides a fascinating, hopeful introduction to the topical and important subject of sustainability, for a generation of young people who will feel the consequences of human exploitation of our planet’s resources, and must be part of finding effective solutions.

The course is is divided into four unique modules that focus on different areas of sustainability:

  • Sustaining Global Resources teaches students to identify renewable and non-renewable resources and make sustainable choices.
  • Protecting Healthy Biodiversity helps students explore the importance of biodiversity and the balance of all living organisms.
  • Positively Impacting Climate Change asks students to hypothesize about what it will take to contribute to the restoration and regeneration of a virtual place.
  • Healthy Life explores the complexity of needs required to keep human life healthy.

The course has been designed in partnership with teachers and subject experts, and needs minimal preparation: all the subject knowledge you need is built in. As with all EVERFI courses, Sustainability offers self-graded, interactive lessons to help students develop simple, actionable strategies for positively contributing to a healthy environment. Real-world scenarios prime students for long-term behavioural change using problem-solving and self-reflection activities.

Schools can register to access the free course – and others like it – here: