Four students from Isambard Community School in North Swindon have come fourth in the 2016 final of the Student Investor Challenge run by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (ifs) on 27 April.
To get there the ‘No Money Men’ team beat 30,000 other students through several rounds of competition to go up against seven rival teams in the final. In the qualifying stages students Kieran Baily, Tommy Slade, Jess West and Sofia Bulut – who were the youngest team in the final – had to negotiate a series of tough financial challenges, having profitably invested two virtual portfolios of £100,000 over a three-month period, before successfully predicting the rise and fall of various assets and equities at the semi-final stage.
The ifs Student Investor Challenge, run by financial education charity ifs University College, is the largest investment competition for schools in the UK. Free to enter, the annual competition encourages students to develop important life and employability skills, building their confidence in researching, presenting, writing and team-working while learning about savings, investments and other crucial financial concepts.
Although the team missed out on the top prize of an all expenses trip to New York, at the end of a full-on and very challenging day, the Isambard students was presented with a special prize from BBC Breakfast Show’s Steph McGovern, who was one of the judges – an invitation for a private tour of the BBC studios at Media City at Salford Quays in Manchester before taking their seats in the audience for her show.
Isambard business studies teacher Kathy Balebela, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and the team has worked hard to reach the final. We are extremely proud of our team and the students are extremely happy with their achievement, and were particularly thrilled that they were recognised for their great presentation.
“Steph McGovern praised the young people from Isambard for how well they engaged with the audience as well as admiring their creative use of different medias in an honest and open account which documented their journey through the competition.
“They were also the youngest team there and my colleague Mr Beecher and I are so proud of our brilliant students who have been great ambassadors for Isambard. This is a wonderful prize for them and a fitting reward for their hard work and dedication.”