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Sixth-form students from across the Midlands met at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday this week to take part in a management team game that saw them acting out the roles of the management team in the fictional borough council of Lyechester. 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.
In the day long exercise the student management teams faced scenarios such as a visit from their local MP, an angry Trade Union Official and a press enquiry and subsequent press conference. All this while trying to continue the day job of balancing the council’s budget, making significant cuts and continuing to provide services with reduced funding.
Five schools from across the region took part in the exercise and the eventual winner of the game was the team from Bishop Walsh School, Sutton Coldfield.
The students enjoyed their day experiencing public sector finance and a number commented on what had they had learnt in their feedback. One of the students from the winning team said:
"It gave us a real insight into what it could be like working in the public sector."
Students and qualified CIPFA accountants were on hand to guide the sixth formers through the day and were impressed by their composure while under significant pressure and the standard of work that they produced throughout the day.
Kelly Watson the CIPFA volunteer who led the day said:
"This CIPFA management game is a brilliant opportunity for 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 into the game, they remained engaged throughout the day and hopefully will have taken much away 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 CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, 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.
Photographs of the winning team and other students are available on request. Please contact the CIPFA press office on 020 7543 5787.
The event took place on Wednesday 18 June at the University of Birmingham and the five schools that took part in the exercise where:
You can find further information on the sixth form management games in the Midlands on CIPFA’s website.