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School Business Class programme at Cassons
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Students become accountants for the day

A group of secondary school students swapped the classroom for the boardroom as they became apprentice accountants for the day.

Year 11 Business Studies pupils from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School in Oswaldtwistle made a ‘behind the scenes’ visit to BKR member firm, Cassons in Haslingden, United Kingdom.

The students were set various accounting challenges, including calculating the mocked up profits from a Courteeners concert and working out the tax on a payslip.

They also learnt about the importance of marketing a business and utilising the power of video and social media channels.

rhyddings-2-aspxThe employability-themed workshop was part of a programme called Business Class, which aims to develop partnerships between schools and businesses.

Carmel Cunliffe, Business Manager at Rhyddings, said: “The whole purpose of the session was to give our students an opportunity to visit a workplace, which will enhance their knowledge and ability when applying for work in the future.

“It will help to break down perceptions, and inspire them towards potential future careers.

“Some students might not have previously considered a career as an accountant. However, after going behind the scenes at Cassons and getting a better understanding of the different things they do for their clients, I think it changed the students’ perceptions.

“Working out the profits for a mock Courteeners concert, for instance, was a great way of bringing the subject to life and our students began to realise that being an accountant is far more interesting than they had previously imagined.”

Peter Johnson, Partner at Cassons, said: “The Business Class programme is a great initiative and we are proud to be one of the businesses involved.

“The behind the scenes visit was the first in a series of sessions we’ll be staging with Rhyddings and hopefully it proved to be valuable for the students on a number of levels.

“It was a chance for them to gain an insight into the world of work, and to talk to some of our employees informally to find out what career opportunities are out there.”

rhyddings-3-aspxLes Nutter, Cassons’ Managing Partner, added:  “We are looking at a 3 year commitment with Rhyddings and our primary aim is to provide support to the students and staff of the school.

“We can also see that Cassons will benefit too; there is much that we can learn from the staff and pupils, and sessions with the students provide a great platform for our own people to learn and develop, especially our younger members of staff.”

Clare Hutchinson, NW Regional Education Manager for Business in the Community, which manages the Business Class programme, said the link-up could prove invaluable for students.

She said: “Cassons and Rhyddings have wholeheartedly embraced the Business Class programme, looking at creative ways to bring the world of work to life for the students involved.

“We know from experience that bringing students into a workplace and putting the theory they learn at school into practice can make all the difference to their understanding of subjects and can often change their views of an industry or career.”

Cassons recorded a video of the day, which can be found HERE

Business Class brings together schools and businesses in a long-term strategic partnership, managed by Business in the Community.

There is evidence that support from businesses can help schools to raise pupils’ aspirations further, achieve more, and helps young people understand and prepare for the world outside the school gates.

Schools acknowledge good employer engagement as a means of inspiring improved attainment levels and raising pupil aspirations (KPMG for the Education & Employers Taskforce 2010).

In Hyndburn, Cassons and Rhyddings Business & Enterprise School have committed to work together to achieve just this.


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