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Online Harrovians Win Top Award in Acclaimed National BASE Competition

B ASE 2021 award
Gillian Hughes


A gifted team of pupils from Harrow School Online gave an impressive performance in this year’s Business and Accountancy Skills in Education competition (BASE) – not only coming fourth in a field of over 500 competing teams from schools across the UK, but also achieving the coveted ‘Best Business Planners’ accolade. 

After emerging in the top 24 during the tournament’s heats, the team secured a place at the strongly contested final in June. There, the four pupils flexed their problem-solving and presentation skills in a grand challenge tournament, only narrowly missing a top three placement. The award, and final result, puts them within the top 0.4% of 16 and 17-year-old entrants, and won them an offer of summer work experience placements with Deloitte – something all four pupils plan to take up.  

Economics teacher Jonathan Shields, who mentored this year’s team, expressed his delight at the students’ stunning performance: ‘I am immensely proud of the team and their outstanding achievements during what was a very closely run final. Their exceptional skills and well-earned award are a credit to the school, to their families, and – of course – to their own dedication. It was a privilege to witness them working together so well, and I’m thrilled to see their talents recognised on a national level.’ 

Established in 2009, the BASE competition gives students the ability to demonstrate their business savviness and employability, as they sample the day-to-day life of a business consultant and accountant. Competing alongside teams from hundreds of schools around the country, students are tested on their ability to work under pressure and suggest solutions to complex business problems. 

Heather Rhodes, Founding Principal of Harrow School Online, led the school in praising the team’s success: ‘I’m incredibly proud of this performance,’ she said. ‘Our inaugural BASE team have shown real, unbounded potential, and their creative presentation and hard work in preparing for the final has clearly paid off.  The work experience placements at Deloitte will set them in excellent stead for their lives after Harrow Online, and demonstrate just how rewarding such extra-curricular pursuits and passions can be. Congratulations to all four of them. They have done themselves and their families proud – and the whole school community too.’