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.

During the last 13 years, some 300 teams from 100 sixth forms have taken part. From our perspective that’s 2,100 sixth form students who we have been able to provide with a taste of financial management in the public sector, together with the pressures (and joys!) that inevitably brings. Hopefully most of those students will also have developed their own individual 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.

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 2019 games

The dates for the 2019 games will be the Wednesdays 12th, 19th and 26th June and the 3rd July. 

If you know of any particular reasons why these dates would not be suitable in your areas then it would be good to hear of that at an early stage. By all means feel free to pass on details to other sixth forms or colleges who may not know about the games.

In future we hope to be circulating the logistics information at least four weeks in advance of each particular game. We will be asking sixth forms to confirm attendance three weeks in advance, leaving a week to negotiate a minimum of three teams, before declaring the go-ahead and issuing the briefing material two weeks before the game. Again, if you don’t think that would work then it would be good to know. We look forward to having your students taking part in the games.

In order to keep your contact details so that your school or college continues to receive updates and invitations, the regulations now require us to have your formal permission to hold those details. This means you should e-mail us at asking us to keep you on our mailing list (or indeed to add you). An e-mail address and the name of the sixth form will suffice, along with a statement asking to be included on the mailing list for the CIPFA in the Midlands Sixth Form Management Team Games - but it’s also good to have a contact name where possible and the position of that contact. We will confirm that you have been added to the list.

The 2018 games

2018 was another successful year for the Sixth Form Games organised by CIPFA in the Midlands.

VIForm Winners 2018Sixth form students from across the region met at various universities, acting out the roles of the management team at the fictional University of Cromwell. In a full day, the management teams faced a visit from their local MP, an angry Trades Union Official and a call from the local newspaper monitoring their plans. All while trying to maintain the day job of reducing the University’s day to day revenue expenditure and managing its capital programme.

The students were a great credit to their schools, putting in a considerable amount of effort. Many enjoyed experiencing public sector finance and a number commented on their learning in their feedback. The winning teams came from the Pershore School, St Augustine's School Redditch, The Ashby School and Haberdashers' Adams School Newport.

CIPFA in the Midlands would like to thank the universities that offered their facilities - including Worcester, Birmingham, Lincoln, Leicester DeMontfort, Staffordshire and Nottingham - and the members and students who volunteered.

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.

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

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.