Sixth form students from across the Midlands met at De Montfort University, Leicester yesterday 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, West Rummidge & Saltwell. 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 a full day the management teams faced a visit from their local MP, an angry Trade Union Official and a call from officials at the Treasury monitoring their plans to build a new hospital. 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 students took to their task with considerable focus and commitment and for most of the day a buzz ensued around the excellent facilities of the Hugh Aston Building at De Montfort University, Leicester.
For the first time in the ten-year history of the games in this format, there was a tie, with the judges being unable to separate Montsaye Academy in Northamptonshire and Chosen Hill School in Gloucester.
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.
Many of the students enjoyed their day experiencing public sector finance and a number commented on what had they had learnt in their feedback. A student from the one of the winning teams said:
“We are all business students and we heard about it from our teacher. It’s been a good day. It makes you realise how much there is to think about in making big decisions.”
Other students commented on how the game had challenged them whilst being enjoyable at the same time.
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.
Chris Gill, 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.
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 17 June at De Montfort University and the six schools that took part in the exercise were: