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GCSE Business students surprised to learn how income tax affects your salary

West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Trust, welcomed members of the economics department from the University of Exeter to the school this month as part of a joint initiative from the university and the ‘Discover Economics’ programme.

Discover Economics is on a mission to increase the diversity of economics students.  They aim to broaden the appeal of economics to potential students, change their perceptions of economics and economists and attract more students from under-represented groups (women, state school/further education college students and minoritised ethnic groups).

Budding economists and entrepreneurs taking GCSE Business Studies heard from three current Exeter university students who ran brilliant sessions looking at topics such as, what is gross domestic product and how your take home salary is affected at different income levels.  Students were shocked at what their take-home salary would look like after they’ve paid their income tax and national insurance!

The group went on to look at the government's current budget deficit, and what approaches politicians could take to address this.  They had a large debate about whether tax should be increased for top earners and what other ways more income could be brought into the UK. 

The university students will be back again later this term to examine other careers in economics and answer questions. 

Economics students at the University of Exeter cover a variety of topics including inflation, monopoly control, the study of developing economies and the finance of multinational companies. The University is in the top ten in the UK for economics. 

 Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

“I want to say a big thank you to the Exeter University students who took the time to come and discuss economics with our Business Studies class.  It was great for them to be introduced to some new concepts and to have them start thinking about the wider applications of what they are studying.”

Debbie Du Preez, Economics lecturer and ‘Discover Economics’ lead at the University of Exeter said:

“It is a privilege for us to go into the local state schools and promote Economics to a diverse set of learners. We want to transform learner perceptions of what “Economics” actually is and show them just how accessible and rewarding a career in Economics can be.”

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:

“At the Ted Wragg Trust we are really keen to see organisations in our communities collaborate and this was a great example of how local educational institutions can work together for the benefit of all young people.”