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Millfield economists hit target to reach Bank of England challenge final
Millfield have qualified for the national final of the Bank of England’s Target 2.0 Interest Rate Challenge, after winning the area final held at Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol on Thursday.
As one of 43 regional champions from a field of 284, Millfield faced off against six other schools from the Wales, West Midlands and West of England area.
Laura Dearman, Seb Newsam, Luke Sidney-Jones, Izzi Halewood, Charlie Dakin, Duke Heise, Matt Shim, Sarah Galley and Jess Davies took on the role of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, making a presentation to a panel of Bank of England judges. The team assessed economic conditions and the outlook for inflation to decide what level of interest rate, or other monetary policy measure, was necessary in order to meet the Government’s inflation target of 2.0%.
They recommended an interest rate of 0.5% compared with the Bank of England’s official rate of 0.5% set by the Monetary Policy Committee on 7 February 2013. They also recommended a total of £375bn of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, compared with the £375bn agreed by the MPC on 7 February 2013.
The chair of the judging panel, Rosie Smith, said: “Today’s teams had a great grasp of the key economic issues at what is a particularly interesting and challenging time for monetary policy. Their fresh perspectives were good to hear and I hope their enthusiasm for economics lasts.”
King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham were runners up and in third place were Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham.
This team’s triumph at the regional stages back in November was the third in four years for the school, but the area win has earned Millfield their first ever appearance in the national final.
“This represents a truly outstanding achievement,” said Millfield Head of Economics Jon Andrews. “The team handled the judge’s challenging questions with composure to produce some thorough answers that further supported their conclusions on optimal monetary policy.”
“The pupils’ achievements speak volumes for their passion for economics, their commitment to the subject - with many hours spent preparing - and the standard of learning that takes place in the Economics department at Millfield.”
Millfield will compete with King Edward VI School, Southampton, Tonbridge School, St Paul’s, The Grammar School at Leeds and Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen for the Challenge Trophy and £10,000 prize at the national final, to be held at the Bank of England on 22 March. The team will have to present their research on the UK economy to a panel of judges including the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King.