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

CIPFA Midlands management gameThe management 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. The games are usually held in June and July across the Midlands, hosted by universities and similar venues.

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 2024 dates are 12 June at Leicester DeMontfort University, 19 June at Keele University and 26 and 27 June at the University of Birmingham.

Download our leaflet to find out more.

What happens at the games?

CIPFA Midlands management gameSchools and colleges are given background information before the event. Upon arrival, each school or college forms a management team, with each student taking on a role, such as chief executive, director of finance, director of neighbourhood services. They receive 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 and social media interactions 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!

Hopefully, participating students will have developed their own skills and their ability to work in teams through the games. Others, we know, have uncovered fresh career opportunities as they have learnt more about themselves, how they work, what makes them tick and where their real interests lie.

How to take part

CIPFA Midlands management game

If you have links with a midlands school or college with post-16 students which may be interested in taking part in the games, please encourage them to contact the game leaders at

We always welcome support from CIPFA members and students to help deliver these very successful games. As a volunteer you can choose to either mentor a team, or to assist with the roleplay and marking. Lunch will be provided and travel expenses are offered, if not picked up by your own employer. You'll be assured of a warm welcome whether you are a student, a retired member, or anywhere in between! Please contact for more information.

The 2023 games

Large group of people smilingTen teams took part in the 2023 games, held at De Montfort University and the University of Birmingham. The teams were a credit to themselves and their schools, and should be proud of their achievements during a pressured day as the senior management team of an NHS Hospital Trust. Congratulations to the teams from John Taylor High School (Barton under Needwood) and Solihull School for taking the two winning spots.

The teams were asked to grapple with challenges including a large funding gap, service modernisation and efficiency, a workforce struggling with cost of living increases, negative social media rumours and the distrust between neighbouring communities. There were meetings with the local MP and a trades union official, reports to write, new issues arising during the day and responses to be made on social media. 

Group of people smilingAs usual, the game mirrored the contemporary challenges being faced by public services - referencing issues such as funding shortfalls, increasing demand for services, tensions between local and national priorities, cost of living pressures on communities and individuals, engagement with staff and the power of social media to bring an issue speeding up the agenda.

Students were required to utilise a wide variety of skills, with efficient team-working being at the very core. Keeping everyone in the team to time and bringing together the individual contributions into a cohesive whole team presentation or report, is not easy under pressure.

The Region would like to thank all the people who made the games possible, including volunteer CIPFA members and students, the host universities and teachers from the sixth forms.