Gloucester students named national business competition winners

Sir Thomas Riches

Students from Gloucester’s Sir Thomas Rich’s school have won a national business competition spearheaded by ICAEW.

The students, who beat off stiff competition from 4,000 other young people across the UK were treated to a celebratory dinner in Cheltenham, hosted by West of England ICAEW (Chartered Institute of Accountants in England and Wales) President, Neil Cutting.

The ICAEW’s annual BASE competition (Business, Accounting, Skills, Education) provides school and college students with the opportunity to experience first-hand what it takes to run a successful business and the role chartered accountants have to play. The students were set a fictitious challenge and asked to advise a technology start-up and deliver their recommendations to its board of directors.

Fiona Banks, Head of Business and Economics at Sir Thomas Rich’s school said: “Sir Thomas Rich’s School registered students for the BASE competition as it is an incredible opportunity to develop student skills in the key areas of investigation and critical thinking. To succeed students have to display business acumen, strong team work and excellent presentation skills.

“Students have the opportunity to learn more about the routes into accountancy by talking to a number of employers. In participating, not only did we build on core skills such as analysis, research and commercial awareness, but we also walked away with greater communication and presentation skills. The success means a great deal to the team as it has left us more confident and reassured about our future career options.”

Around 500 teams from schools and FE colleges across the UK took part, with the panel of judges including professionals from Fujitsu and Virgin Media.

Impressed by the students business acumen, West of England ICAEW President Neil Cutting, from Jacobs, said: “The students from Sir Thomas Rich’s School showed great initiative and had some really impressive ideas. The calibre of entries this year was really high, but they managed to stand out from the rest of the talent and I am certain they all have bright futures ahead. The BASE challenge has been designed to not only consider academic ability but also the skills needed to prosper in a workplace. The students showed they could work under pressure, communicate well and problem solve which are all critical skills for success.”

The school was mentored throughout the competition by Daniel Webb, Associate Manager at Gloucestershire accountants and ICAEW members, Hazlewoods.

Daniel said; “It was a pleasure being part of BASE this year as a mentor and having the opportunity to work with such enthusiastic and hardworking students. I would actively encourage schools to take part in BASE in the future as it gives students the opportunity to experience first-hand working in a business environment as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.”

For further information or to register interest for taking part in BASE 2019 please visit