Sixth form students work to balance the budgets at CIPFA business event

Sixth form students from around the Midlands visited Birmingham Business School on the 18th June to take part in a team game that saw them acting out the roles of the Management Team in the fictional Borough Council of Lyechester.

In a full day the management teams faced a visit from their local MP, an angry Trade Union Official and a Press enquiry and subsequent Press Conference, all whilst 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 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.

Kelly Watson, lead volunteer said:

This CIPFA management game is a brilliant opportunity 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 really threw themselves in to the game, 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 Sector organisations and perhaps some of these young people are the Public Sector finance directors of the future.”

Students and qualified accountants from CIPFA were on hand to guide the sixth form students through the day 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.

Many of the students enjoyed their day experiencing Public Sector finance and a number commented on what had they had learnt in their feedback and that the game had challenged them whilst being enjoyable at the same time.

It gave us a real insight into what it could be like working in the public sector."

The eventual winner of this game, one of 6 taking place throughout the Midlands this summer, was Bishop Walsh School, Sutton Coldfield.

All the students from all schools were a great credit to the sixth forms that they represented, putting in a considerable amount of effort during the day.