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Sixth formers get a taste of life at the sharp end of public finance

Sixth form students from across the Midlands met at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), to take part in a management team game that saw them acting out the roles of the executive management team in a fictional NHS Trust.

The game was a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) team management exercise and is one of a series taking place throughout the Midlands this summer. It was hosted by DMU's Department of Accounting and Finance, whose expert lecturers were on hand during the day to support the event.

cipfa winners
The winning team from Ashby School

In a full day the management teams faced a visit from their local MP, an angry Trade Union Official and a call from the local newspaper as to their plans surrounding local day care centres. All while trying to maintain the day job of achieving a balanced budget with significant cuts required to continue to provide its services from a reduced level of resources.

The winning team were Abbie Hodgkins, Phoebe Baker, Blaze Clarke, Jade Murphy, Francesca Humphries, Bethany Clifford, and Daisy Roach from Ashby School in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Other schools taking part were Southfields School, Kettering; Montsaye Academy, Rothwell, and Countesthorpe College in Leicestershire.

Abbie said: “It gives you a feel for the kind of work you would be doing. It was very hard work to make those decisions.” Phoebe added: “The interruptions were fun, you had to think quickly. It has been useful to give an insight into the job which you would not have otherwise.”

Students and qualified CIPFA accountants were on hand to guide the sixth form students and were very impressed by the composure of the sixth formers under significant pressure and the standard of work that they produced throughout the day.

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Mark Lovell, the lead volunteer for this game, said:  “This CIPFA management game is an excellent experience for local students to understand the way our public finances are managed and the difficulties our finance teams have in choosing between competing and often equally important priorities.

“The students involved today were very focused on undertaking the tasks in hand; they remained engaged throughout the day and hopefully will have taken much away from the game that will be useful for their future careers and general development. 

“This country needs the best managers to be running our local authorities and other public services and perhaps some of these young people are the public sector finance directors of the future.”

The game, devised and run by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), is intended to help fill a gap in Business Studies courses, which tend to concentrate on commercial activities and often do not cover the public sector in any way.

Posted on Thursday 29th June 2017

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