Gillian Pooler & Stephanie Bell
Grant Thornton

Local accountancy firm helps maths students

Business advisers from leading accountancy firm Grant Thornton in Leeds have gone back to the class room to help local maths pupils.

Year 9 students at Swallow Hill Community College in Wortley participated in an hour long functional maths workshop led by Gillian Pooler, tax manager at Grant Thornton and audit trainee Stephanie Bell. The session was organised by social enterprise Ahead Partnership as part of the Grant Thornton Educate to Innovate programme.

“Leading the maths workshop was great fun,” said Gillian. “Our aim was to demonstrate how maths relates to real life so we set the pupils the task of running their own computer sales business. They had to consider the financial implications of every aspect from setting product prices to managing overheads and then calculate the profit. Hopefully, it has reinforced the importance of maths skills in everyday life.”

Olivier Tsemo, lead teacher of mathematics at Swallow Hill Community College, said: “The workshop has provided my students with the opportunity to see how the subject works in real life. I was really pleased to see the students working to design a business plan using their mathematics skills.”

Grant Thornton’s work with the 13 and 14 year olds is part of its on going Educate to Innovate programme which aims to foster entrepreneurialism by building links with primary and secondary schools in the region. The firm also works with Ahead Partnership to provide mentors for around 30 pupils at Swallow Hill Community College, Cockburn School and Carr Manor Community School. Grant Thornton business advisers meet with pupils every half term for one-to-one sessions aimed at encouraging their confidence and career aspirations.

Sandra O’Neil of Grant Thornton in Leeds added: “This latest workshop is part of our on going initiative of undertaking activities with local schools with the aim of bringing the business world closer to that of education, helping to raise pupils’ career aspirations and encouraging their business skills in order to provide a better equipped work force for the future.”

Megan Taylor, project coordinator at Ahead Partnership, said: “We’re delighted that local businesses share their time and skills in this way, demonstrating how education relates to working life and inspiring pupils to achieve their potential.”

Ahead Partnership is a social enterprise that works with the public and private sectors to foster social and economic regeneration, forging links between businesses, schools and community groups to allow businesses of all sizes to play a hands-on role in their local community.

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