CIPFA Midlands: Sixth Form Management Games 2022
What happens if you plunge seven teenagers into the strategic roles of a senior management team in local government, tasking them with trying to solve a £5m budget gap while having to deal with mounting negative social media rumours, an unsettled workforce, a particularly angry trade union representative and getting their heads around a potential council tax referendum?
It turns out they rise to the challenge admirably.
What are the Sixth Form Games?
The CIPFA Midlands Sixth Form Management Games is a public finance focused simulation activity that allows competing teams of sixteen- to seventeen-year-olds to sample a taste of what a career in the public sector could offer them. Delivered by a team of CIPFA Midlands volunteers, hosted by some of the fantastic universities in the region, and enjoyed by many schools who return year on year to take part, the award-winning Games is helping to encourage the next generation of public finance professionals. They are written and designed to mirror real challenges faced by the public sector, touching on issues such as sustainability and the impact of COVID-19, requiring the students to utilise a wide variety of skills, with efficient team working at the very core.
This year, four games were successfully held within the region (two at the University of Birmingham, one at Staffordshire University and one at De Montfort University), with 140 students from 20 different schools battling it out with the help and support of 40 CIPFA volunteers. Congratulations to the winning teams from Solihull School, Alcester Grammar School, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group and De Ferrers Academy.
As explained by Holly Hancocks, an accountant at Warwickshire County Council, the value of volunteering at the Games is beyond measure.
“Not only is it the most enjoyable way of clocking CPD hours, the Games are the highlight of my working year. I will never tire of seeing our students come up with innovative solutions to making savings and grappling with conflicting priorities. Their approaches are sometimes surprising, but never dull!”
“Outside of the game days themselves, another huge benefit to me has been the opportunity to meet and get to know other CIPFA members within the region, who are always happy to give advice and help me tackle challenges in my day-to-day working life too. It’s fantastic to be an active part of the CIPFA Midlands community.”
“This year I took on the role of game leader at the University of Birmingham Games. It was daunting to begin with, but drawing on my previous working experience within theatre education, it all came together, and I left with the biggest smile on my face. I’m vastly proud of the Games and what they achieve, and I look forward to continuing my involvement for many years to come.”
How to get involved
Any CIPFA members or students who would like to know more about getting involved (either as volunteers or to pass on information about the Games to new prospective schools), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The team in the Midlands are also happy to help and support other regions who would like to set up similar initiatives in their areas.