On 26 November, a team of four Oundle School pupils, Ali Mason (18), Nico Lethbridge (17), Charlie Law (17) and George Chatterton (17), won the Regional Heat of the Target Two Point Zero Bank of England and Times Interest Rate Challenge held at the Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
Teams had to act as the real Monetary Policy Committee would and undertake economic research and analysis by examining current economic conditions, and assessing the outlook for the economy and inflation. They then had to present their findings to a panel of judges in competition with other schools in the area and make a monetary policy recommendation with supporting arguments and evidence to achieve the Government’s inflation target of 2.0%.
The Oundle team 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 5 November 2015. They also recommended a total of £375bn of asset purchases under the Asset Purchase Facility, compared with the £375bn agreed by the MPC on 5 November 2015.
The team from Stamford Endowed Schools, were runners up. The other schools in the heat were: Leicester Grammar School, Oakham School, Spalding Grammar School, The Beauchamp College, Leicester, Uppingham School, Oakham and Wellingborough School.
The chair of the judging panel, Alastair Cunningham, said, “An exciting heat – while all but one team came to the same policy decision, the breadth and diversity of evidence brought to bear was impressive.”
Oundle Economics teacher, Mrs Fiona Quiddington, who felt the group performed particularly well in the ten minute question round, commented, “The questions from the MPC members were challenging and each team member responded in an astute, considered and factual manner. We look forward to training for the area final in February.”
The Area Finals will take place in February 2016.
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion which opened in April 2015 and new astroturfs due to be completed this year.
There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day school for children aged 4 to 11.