Top marks for The Chase School – winners of the national “business game”

left to right students Isobel Taylor, Toby Edwards, James Kerry, teacher Mr John Palmer, George Aston, Chloe Reeley and Michelle Hammett from Ballard Dale Syree Watson.

Senior Manager Michelle Hammett from Droitwich-based accountants Ballard Dale Syree Watson has proved that good advice and guidance is a key component for business success.

Ms. Hammett has recently helped students from The Chase School, Malvern, achieve top marks in the Business, Accountancy and Skills Education (BASE) national competition as a mentor. The annual event, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) was held in Birmingham recently at The Hilton Metropole Hotel.

Aimed at 16-18 year olds BASE linked schools, students and employers work together in a bid to increase awareness of accountancy as a career option. An important part of the initiative is also to help young people develop the desirable skills to equip them in the work place.

Ms. Hammett has supported The Chase School through various phases of the competition and late last year the school secured first place in the regional finals. She was delighted when the students asked her to mentor them at national level.

The competition involved each participating school to assume the role of ICAEW Chartered Accountants within a fictitious company. Students were required to prepare a comprehensive business plan and present their case to a panel of judges in a semi final round.

Out of the 25 schools representing all parts of the UK, The Chase School was selected to go through to the final round along with three other schools. Students were then asked to present their findings to a large audience and panel of 12 judges.

After a glitzy black tie dinner The Chase School team (James Kerry, George Aston, Isobel Taylor, Chloe Reeley and Toby Edwards) were hailed as the winners having received 10 votes out of a possible 12 resulting in an unprecedented landslide victory.

In addition to being crowned national BASE champions students each received a cash prize of £500 and a visit to Chartered Accountants Hall in Moorgate, London, where they will enjoy a celebratory lunch and get the chance to meet and interview ICAEW Chief Executive, Michael Izza.

Ballard Dale Syree Watson’s Ms. Hammett said: “I was very fortunate to work with students from The Chase School as they were exceptionally switched on and business savvy. The school has a fantastic reputation for enterprise education which is led by the Faculty Head for ICT and Business, Mr John Palmer.

“It is really important that all businesses work closely with our schools. Understanding the theoretical element of business is very important but there is nothing like practical experience and BASE offers just that. It also helps students to understand the role that accountants play in supporting and helping businesses achieve success.”

John Palmer, Faculty Head for ICT and Business, was naturally very proud of his students and said: “We are delighted to win this excellent, high quality national event. The competition from teams representing some of the best independent, grammar and state schools in the UK was fierce, but yet again Chase School students have shown that they are more than able to compete and succeed at the highest level. Activities such as this allow students develop a range of skills vital for success such as teamwork, finance knowledge and communication. In an increasingly competitive world, we need to give our students that ‘something extra’ that they can use to raise their profile with future employers or academic institutions. I am delighted that the ICAEW are so encouraging of our young people and help them to develop these skills, after all they are the business leaders of tomorrow!”