Sixth Form Management Games

A stimulating and fun environment for post-16 students (Years 12 and 13) to sample the scope, complexity and impact of financial management in the public sector.

The games are intended to help fill a gap in business studies courses, which concentrate on commercial activities and often do not cover the public sector. They are held in June and July across the Midlands, hosted by universities and similar venues. Since 2006, some 90 schools and colleges have provided over 200 teams at 40 games. Each game takes a full day and is an excellent introduction to the world of work and a way of developing and strengthening teamwork, leadership, management and organisational skills.

The 2017 games

The 2017 games are underway. They take place from 09:30 to 16:00 and are as follows:

  • Wednesday 21 June - DeMontfort University, Leicester and University of Birmingham
  • Wednesday 28 June - Staffordshire University
  • Wednesday 5 July - Nottingham Trent University.

The Leicester game was won by the Ashby School. There were two games at Birmingham, won by the Solihull School and Barr Beacon, Aldridge.

CIPFA is supporting a shorter version of the game at the University of Lincoln on 5 July. This will run from 1000 to 1500. To register your interest please contact Chris Prince, E:

Like to learn more about the games? Download a leaflet.

The 2016 games

The 2016 games saw the teams acting out the roles of the management team of Stead Homes, the social housing company operated for the fictional Castle Hill Borough Council. The teams faced visits from various groups and individuals throughout the time, all whilst trying to maintain the day job of achieving a balanced budget with significant funding cuts.

Congratulations to the five winning teams - The Ashby School, Tudor Grange (Redditch), Lincoln Christ's Hospital School, Hanley Castle High School and John Taylor High School (Staffordshire). Congratulations and thanks also to all the teams that took part with such effort and enthusiasm, thus making the 2016 games so successful and rewarding.

What happens at the games

Schools/colleges are given background information before the event. Upon arrival, each school/college forms a management team, with each student taking on a role, eg chief executive, director of finance, director of housing. They are provided with further information relevant to their portfolio and the management team is set an initial task – for example, to produce a draft report by lunchtime.

As life is not always straightforward, interruptions are thrown in and each team has to decide how to handle these while completing the main task. After lunch, the teams receive a 'bombshell' and must revise their plans, with further interruptions to add that extra sense of reality. Finally, they usually deliver a presentation on their decisions and recommendations. The teams usually beaver away with great enthusiasm.

For an additional flavour, see the 2015 invitation to sixth forms.

How to take part

If you have links with a Midlands school or college with post-16 students which may be interested in taking part in future games, please encourage them to contact Chris Gill or Kelly Watson, E:

We are looking for support from members – general, student and retired, all welcome – to help take forward these very successful games. Please contact E: for more information.