G Conomics has the pleasure of regularly hosting guest speakers who use economics in their day-to-day work.  G Conomics’ network has enabled students to participate in co-curricular study visits which have previously included: Virgin Money, The Newcastle Business School, and Brewin Dolphin.

Visit the upcoming events board in the G Conomics Suite to see the latest guest speakers and economics society visitors.

Entrepreneurs Panel

Entrepreneurship A term that’s easy to define; however, it’s often so difficult to encapsulate the real essence of an entrepreneur in the classroom.  With this in mind, economics and business students were fortunate to attend today’s panel discussion featuring: Graham Sleep, Co-Founder & Director IA Growth Ltd (; Ben Mason, CEO and Founder at globalbridge

The Department for Work & Pensions

It was our pleasure to be joined in the Good Morning Emmanuel studio by EC alumni Sarah and Sophie .  The ladies discussed their academic interests, university choices, and their current job roles at the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).  The 1350 students were gripped; indeed, the 30 minute assembly was over in a

James Sproule, Handelsbanken

Thank you Matthew Heaton for inviting economists from Emmanuel College, Gateshead to Handelsbanken‘s most recent budget webinar. Fantastic opportunity to listen and learn from James Sproule as he discussed the outlook for the UK economy. Great macro revision for the A level students.

IEA Economics Conference

A real pleasure to be able to host this conference.  A few brief notes from each of the speakers.   Professor Phillip Booth:   Economic Cycles Textbook idea of economic cycles is not accurate; 1992 – 2007 : great stability : Gordon Brown ‘we no longer have a boom and bust economy.’ 3 theories of

Ethical Investment

North East Initiative on Business Ethics Lessons from 30 years of ethical investment by Shared Interest Society 23 March 2021 A much-anticipated debate, particularly with GCSE economics students, who were keen to listen and learn from Tim Morgan, Finance Director at the Shared Interest Society.   The Shared Interest Society’s website states: ‘WE SEE THE

Financial Literacy

Stephanie Payne, Financial Capability and Relationship Manager The London Institute of Banking & Finance 22 March 2021 As a school, we work hard to prepare young people for the next step in their education and their later employment.  With this in mind, it was a pleasure to ‘virtually’ host Stephanie Payne from the London Institute

Vertu Motors

No stranger to the Emmanuel College lecture theatre, it was a pleasure to welcome back, albeit virtually, Robert Forrester, CEO Vertu Motors. Having recently acquired naming rights to the home of the Newcastle Eagles and cemented its position as Europe’s biggest Honda motor retailer, it was great to find out how Vertu Motors has navigated

Brewin Dolphin

It’s hard to believe that Gareth Johnson, Brewin Dolphin’s Head of Digital Channels, left Emmanuel College some 21 years ago … and he was a student in one of my first A Level classes. No surprise that he opened proceedings with ‘Good morning Clarkey boy!’ Gareth kindly introduced his colleague and our main speaker for

David Smith – economics editor of The Sunday Times

@dsmitheconomics is a twitter handle which I have been referencing for years and I had always hoped that one day David might speak to EC students.  Last year, that encounter almost came to pass and we even had a confirmed date in the diary.  Unfortunately, the date coincided with the UK’s first lock down!  Fast

Sustainable Investments with Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management

Lesley Telford, Corporate Manager, Handelsbanken, invited GCSE and A Level economists to attend this year’s virtual seminar.  Matt Toms’ slick presentation tested the students’ mental agility as he shared HB’s thoughts with regard to interest rates, diversified share portfolios, prospects for the global economy, and opportunities in emerging markets. The chat box lit up during

Non-Executives in the Dock

“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” Saint Augustine Speaker: Tom Harrison, International Centre for Connected Construction Joining us for the first of 2021’s Responsible Business Seminars is Tom Harrison, Chair of IC3 – International Centre for Connected Construction, and formerly the Chief

Special Advisers

We’ve all heard of Brown and Blair, Cameron and Osbourne, Sunak and Johnson; dynamic duos to whom the direction of the country is usually attributed.  To the lesser observer, it is sufficient to believe that it is the politician who creates the policy, it is the Prime Minister devises the strategy, and that it is

PwC Flying Start Programme

A real pleasure to welcome EC alumna, Rebecca Pitchford, back to college via Zoom, in order to discuss PwC’s Flying Start Degree Programme. Further details:  

Women, migration and labour markets

Women, Migration and Labour Markets Mary Silles, Professor of Economics and Head of Economics Subject Group at Northumbria University Women with more children tend to have lower labour supply and earnings. Why is this? There are two broad explanations. One is a selection story: women with more children would work less even in the absence

In conversation with … Sebastian Payne

Sebastian Payne Financial Times Whitehall Correspondent A privilege for GCSE and A Level economics and politics students to spend almost an hour in conversation with Sebastian Payne.  Having binge listened to Payne’s Politics podcast, students interrogated Seb with the questions below.  In the blink of an eye, our time was up!  Look forward to the

The Perils of Speed

The Perils of Speed: How could the Slow Movement help us treat ourselves and others better? Collaboration with The North East Initiative on Business Ethics Di Gates: Di has been running businesses and developing growth strategies for national and international clients for 20+years. From 2001 – 2009 she ran one of the North of England’s

Zombie firms and Covid-19

In 2019 James was a Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, following on from his position as a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute from 2017 to 2019, prior to that he was from 2014 to 2017 Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors. Before the IoD,

Global Ethics Day (21/10/20)

This year, NIBE held an event to celebrate Global Ethics Day, 21 October, with colleagues from leading North East companies. Click here to watch a video from the event. The online seminar was hosted by Caroline Theobald and contributors included: Yvonne Gale – CEO, NEL Fund Managers Hugh Welch – Senior Partner, Muckle LLP Andrew

Going beyond the taught curriculum

In September, none of my A level economists knew of trial balances, ledgers, or invoices.  10 weeks later, they have an accountancy qualification!  To be precise, they are the proud holders of the Sage Business Cloud Accounting Certificate. For some, working towards this qualification has really piqued their interest in a career in accountancy.  Others

OCR GCSE Economics CPD

A pleasure to meet ‘virtually’ with colleagues from centres across the UK.  The CPD focused on maximising students’ outcomes.  Snippets from the CPD can be viewed on my YouTube channel:

Dr Owen Boyle : Business Responsibility for Human Rights

In 2011, the United Nations published the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which outlined the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the need for access to effective remedy. All business enterprises therefore have to ‘respect’ human rights throughout the course of their operations and help

Showcase your talent stack

Really enjoyed talking to edtech entrepreneur Ben Mason, CEO globalbridge, with regard to providing young people with the platform to showcase all of their talents. #talentstack #bridgethegap Have a listen.

Students’ experiences of GBFS2020

GBFutureStars, AS, Y10 In June, students in year 10 were able to participate in the GlobalBridge FutureStars event where we were given access to an excellent range of insightful and constructive resources, ranging from information regarding apprenticeships to learning about what some of the UK’s leading colleges and universities have to offer. The feature that

Worthy of Merit

In economics lessons, we often discuss the role of merit goods within the economy; i.e. those goods and services which are inherently good for us but which would be under provided and hence under consumed if left to the free market.  Consequently, in a paternalistic role, the government or the state steps in and provides

Inter-School Debating Competition

‘This House believes data and tech companies are a threat to our democracy, our way of life and our very existence’   This week, year 12 economists from five of the region’s schools – Emmanuel College, The Kings Academy, Grace College, Harton Academy and St Bede’s Durham – gathered at Brewin Dolphin’s HQ to debate

Economics Education

An understanding of the economy shouldn’t be restricted to the few who choose economics at school or university. It was a real privilege to join Andy Haldane, Wendy Carlin, and many of the Core Economics Education Team at the Bank of England, for a discussion of the public purpose of economics education.  At a time

Considering Monetary Policy with the Bank of England

On 17 March 2020, Andrew Bailey will take on the role of Governor of the Bank of England.  On 13 February 2020, Rishi Sunak was appointed Chancellor by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.  Changes of personnel with regard to those in charge of both monetary and fiscal policy.  It was an interesting time for economists

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

To celebrate women in science and inspire future STEM leaders, business engagement partner, globalbridge, arranged two live webinars with staff and apprentices at GlaxoSmithKline plc.  An amazing opportunity for year 10 science students to connect with a multinational pharmaceutical company and begin to think about their futures.  During the webinars, students were able to post

Climate change, corporate governance and global inequality

Sixth form economics and politics students have been studying climate change, global governance, and global inequality. How apt that staff and students should receive an invitation from Professor Ron Beadle and the North East Initiative on Business Ethics Ltd to attend an evening seminar with Paul Polman.  Paul is Co-founder of IMAGINE, Chair of the

Economics Investment Seminar

In recent times, Swedish bank, Handelsbanken, joined the college’s business engagement partners programme.  This week, year 13 economists were the first to benefit from this collaboration, having attended Handelsbanken’s economic investment seminar at The Falcons Rugby Stadium.  They were the only students in attendance; however, all of the delegates made a special effort to welcome

Women in STEM

Returning to college for the first time since 2017, Jennifer Shannon, alumna (2010 – 2017), suggested that year 11 girls might consider a career in economics.  Jennifer is currently halfway through her industrial placement year which is part of a four-year economics degree at Newcastle University.  Working in London for the Department for Work and

Health Careers

This week, year 11 students have been thinking more intensively than usual about their futures and post-16 options.  With this in mind, students gathered to learn about careers in the NHS, one of the world’s largest employers.  Julia  Newton, Professor of Ageing and Medicine, spoke at length about the wide and varied career opportunities open

Ethics, Meaningfulness and Mutuality

Economists are used to referring to labour as human capital; however, the GCSE and A Level specifications do not challenge students to think about how people find meaning in their job role.  Dr Ruth Yeoman, Fellow, The University of Oxford, provided that stretch by asking students to consider organisational integrity and empathy; how can organisations

Why choose an apprenticeship?

It can be difficult to know where to start when considering full time education options post-16.  Fortunately, alumnus Lee Dale, Head of Operations at Estio Training, was on hand to demystify the world of post-16 apprenticeship programmes.  Thirty year 11 students were able to find out more about the typical journey of an apprentice; thinking

Globalbridge ‘Onboarding’

The UK unemployment rate is at its lowest level in nearly 45 years and record numbers of 18-year-olds are applying for university places.  How can students ensure that they give themselves the best opportunity to acquire that job, that place at university, or that apprenticeship role?  Globalbridge ( enables students to showcase all of their

‘Without economics, our business wouldn’t work’

The Economics Society’s 2019 calendar was brought to a close by alumnus Callum Foster, Head of Group Finance at Home Group.  Students were warmly welcomed with a mince pie each, before Callum talked about his career to date, university life, and how economics is used every day in his workplace.  Students particularly appreciated Callum’s closing

Inspiring STEM students

The Economics Society was treated to a lively and informative presentation about undergraduate life at Durham University.  Katie Dennington, university ambassador and final year mathematics undergrad, delivered a passionate off-the-cuff talk about how she came to study maths at university.  It was great for students to see just how passionate someone of their age can

Intensive Interviews from Intensive Care Medic

In recent months, we have been seeking to expand the scope of the Business Engagement Partners Programme across the college curriculum :  Subsequently, it has been encouraging to be able to connect with people in many industries.  On the back of the most recent outreach, Dr Miriam Baruch, Consultant Intensive Care Medic, kindly volunteered

Ethical dilemmas and social media use in the workplace

GCSE and A Level economists travelled to the Newcastle Business School to participate in an ethics debate which was hosted by Linn Byberg from the Institute of Business Ethics.  During her presentation, Linn shared some examples of how employees have breached workplace rules regarding social media posts and then asked delegates to consider the appropriateness

Bridging the Gap

In July, Sophie Rowland (11 Ingham) and Manesha Sundar (11 Oliver) won globalbridge’s Future Stars competition, where they had to pitch their idea for a social enterprise to a panel of judges, Dragon’s Den style!  Last Friday, Sam McLoughlin, Education Consultant at globalbridge, returned to college, accompanied by three industry experts, who will advise and

Marginal Gains

Microeconomics places great emphasis on marginal analysis. It was therefore fitting that year 13 economists travelled to Leeds to participate in a series of workshops intended specifically to eke out  those marginal gains in the June exam series.  As ever, student participation was exemplary, and Emmanuel students were not shy of taking the mic in

Chartered Institute of Housing : North East Conference 2019

Year 13 economists were hosted by EC alumnus James Hudson at the CIH regional conference.  As Chair of the North East Board, James opened the second day of the conference by welcoming some amazing speakers, before directly welcoming EC students, and, of course, his old (in the sense of former) economics teacher! The housing market

globalbridge goes big with ESF

This week, Ben Mason, Founder and CEO at globalbridge, and colleague Sam McLoughlin, visited college to begin planning a rollout of the globalbridge platform across a number of ESF sites.  Year 12 students at Emmanuel will begin the ‘onboarding process’ early next year, to be followed by remaining year groups throughout 2020.  Check out the

Institute of Economic Affairs

A highlight of the economics calendar is the Institute of Economic Affairs’ annual conference. On Friday, 8 November, 42 economists travelled by coach to Loretto School where they participated in a series of discussions intended to develop their critical thinking skills. Presentations by Dr Steve Davies, Professor Philip Booth, and Ewen Stewart, delved deeper into

Working with trade unions – what’s not to like?

Economists in years 10 and 13 travelled to the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University where Kevin Rowan, Head of Organisation and Services at the TUC, discussed how trade unions make a positive difference in the workplace.  His findings show that union membership has risen in recent years, reversing decades of declining membership.  Workplaces without


Having spent his formative years in Whickham, Gymshark’s CEO, Steve Hewitt, made a welcome return to the north east, where he very kindly spent a few hours in the company of Emmanuel students.  Steve explained how a young man, educated at St. Thomas More, became CEO of one of the UK’s fastest growing companies.  Steve’s

Jetting off to a Rolls-Royce Career

Jon Brent, alumnus, returned to College and delivered one of the most well received sixth form lectures to date.  He fielded questions from interested STEM students for at least an hour and could easily have gone on all afternoon!  Having performed exceptionally well in his A Levels, Jon initially studied mechanical engineering at York university;

The biggest yet!

Karl Morgan, Virgin Money’s Structural Liquidity Manager and EC alumnus, hosted 100 GCSE and A Level students from The Emmanuel Schools Foundation.  Students had the opportunity to see around the modern offices in Gosforth before participating in a series of workshops.  Karl ensured that the students were pushed out of their comfort zones, mixing the

The economics of crime

Isn’t economics about money, trade, and forecasting the economy?  Yes; however, it also provides us with a set of tools that enable us to think about a wide range of topics.  Nils Braakmann, Professor of Economics at Newcastle University, challenged Year 13 PTE students to consider the economics of crime.  Considering the pioneering work of

When EC met the MPC

Monetary Policy GCSE and A Level students from a wide range of subject disciplines filled the lecture theatre to learn about monetary policy from Mr Jonathan Haskel, Member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).  Taking time out of his whistle stop tour of north east businesses, Jonathan spoke to students about the

Government Economic Service (GES)

The Economics Society welcomed Mrs Barbara Baffot-Bonnie from the Department for Transport to discuss careers for economists in the Home Civil Service.  Barbara’s particular area of interest lies in environmental economics and she talked about how rewarding it is to see her analyses of infrastructure projects being discussed by Boris Johnson and his Cabinet Ministers. 


Seventeen years ago, Andy Robinson completed his A Levels at Emmanuel College.  At that time, all he knew was that he had a passion for computing and that he wanted to start his own business.  Andy is now Chief Operating Officer at multi-award winning digital marketing firm, Venture Stream.  Launching this year’s calendar of events

London Economics & Politics Study Visit : July 2019

With meetings scheduled at the Financial Times, Capital Group, and House of Commons, year 12 economists were excited to be accompanied by Mr Clarke (Economics), Mrs Adkin (History) and Mr Ingham (PE), on the now well-established London study visit.   Arriving in London, during rush-hour, on one of the hottest days of the year, was

GlobalBridge Future Stars Final

Competitors from Durham School, Heaton Manor, North East Futures UTC, and Emmanuel College gathered at Muckle LLP’s Newcastle HQ for the inaugural future stars final. In authentic Dragon’s Den style, the competing teams had to pitch their ideas to the judging panel and then answer a series of very challenging questions!   Year 10 economist,

A Serial Entrepreneur

This week, The Economics Society’s calendar of guest speakers was brought to a close with a rousing presentation by Phil Dean, Lawyer, and Director at CMD Property Limited. Phil explained how the naysayers he encountered during his youth gave him the impetus to study hard and make something of himself. Phil’s first job as a

If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place

Ian Dormer, CBE, Director at Rosh Engineering, inspired and entertained members of The Economics Society, as he talked about a few of the great leaders he has met during his career. From Dame Mary Perkins, founder of SpecSavers, to Andy Bird, former chairman of Walt Disney, Ian focused on their character and had interesting stories

Business Forum Panel

What do Improvement Architecture, IA Growth, Master Debonair, Funky Chunky Furniture and Surge have in common? Answer: a member of the Senior Management Team from each firm participated in the College’s inaugural business panel forum. Economists assembled in the lecture theatre to discuss economics, politics and education. It was fascinating to learn first-hand what employers

UK Economic Outlook

Forecasting economic growth is never easy; however, throw into the mix, political turmoil and the ongoing Brexit debacle, and economic forecasting appears impossible. Fortunately, alumnus, Mr Ross Lillico, Associate Director, Lichfields, was on hand to provide some clarity with regard to the likely direction of travel for the UK economy. The good news is that

globalbridge Future Stars 2019

Former colleague and PE teacher turned successful entrepreneur, Ben Mason, now CEO globalbridge, invited economists from Emmanuel College to join 250 students from schools across the north east, at his company’s inaugural future stars event. Delegates included staff and students from local schools, local universities, MPs, some of the region’s largest employers, and Brad Burton,

Money Matters with VirginMoney

As year 13 approach the end of their time at Emmanuel, this week’s lecture was dedicated to thinking through issues related to finance. Mr Karl Morgan (alumnus) is Structural Liquidity Manager at Virgin Money and explained a whole host of different areas including savings, loans, credit cards, debt and budgeting. Alongside numerous tips on money

A practical guide to starting a business

Demand for early lunch passes exceeded supply in anticipation of Mr Mike Porritt’s address to The Economics Society. Having been involved in more businesses than he cares to remember, Mike outlined the steps necessary to take a business idea to successful fruition. As he talked, he moved seamlessly through discussion of exchange rates, venture capital,

Socially enterprising work

What is a social enterprise? Economists attending this week’s meeting of The Economics Society were fortunate to learn from Mr Will Fatherley, CEO Impeller; a values led social enterprise, generating profit for good, in partnership with the Tyne and Wear Fire Service. Impeller harnesses resources in the public sector, in this instance, the fire service,

A Level Economics Revision

In anticipation of the summer exams, A Level economists from the northeast gathered together to spend some time honing their exam skills and sharing best practice. Upon arrival, students were split into teams and forced to work outside their comfort zones. For the staff in attendance, it was marvellous to see the students quickly get

The Future of Work

Economists attended a ‘lightning debate’ at the Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. Each of the four keynote speakers focussed on some aspect of work; from employability, to lifestyle control, to linguistic diversity in the workplace. Research suggests that millennials are very aware of work-life balance and consider it to be more important than job prestige,

Discussing local issues with Councillor Catherine Donovan

It’s easy to forget that Brexit is not the only item on the political agenda! During her address to members of The Economics Society, local economic, social, and political issues were brought sharply into focus by Cllr Catherine Donovan, Deputy Leader of Gateshead Council. The basic economic problem of scarcity, choice, and opportunity cost can

First of the lasts

The first of the lasts … been taking a fine group of economists to NBS for the last 3 years and this evening was the final opportunity to share an event with them at the Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. They will soon move on to bigger and better things. An amazing bunch!

Careers in Financial Planning

The Economics Society was delighted to welcome David Smith, Partner, Financial Planning at Tilney Group. A career in wealth management is perhaps not often discussed with budding young economists; however, David certainly captured the students’ attention as he outlined pathways into the industry and made clear the earnings potential! David’s presentation was littered with economics

Do you get angry or sad when discussing climate change?

Economists travelled to Newcastle Business School to participate in an evening seminar which was led by Sally Russell, Associate Professor of Business, Organisations and Sustainability, University of Leeds. Dr Russell talked through her recent study of the importance of emotions in effective engagement and management of climate change. Her study analysed people’s heart rate and

G Conomics meets the Financial Times

Since September 2017, G Conomics has been collaborating with the FT to produce economics articles and questions for A Level economics students. Having recently launched its own You Tube channel, G Conomics was delighted to be interviewed by the FT, and keen to share a few thoughts about how the FT can be used most

Economists aren’t bored by the Financial Times!

According to the FT’s Global Education Editor, Emmanuel College is one of the most engaged schools in the FT’s Schools Programme, where content and questions relevant to GCSE and A Level study of economics are shared online. Our economists were delighted to be involved in road testing the FT’s new board game; sharing their ideas

This House believes that the cost of a plastic bottle is too great!

Next week is National Careers Week and hence it was fitting that the debate should be preceded by a careers workshop with visiting speakers from Brewin Dolphin and SABIC Petrochemicals. Gareth Johnson and Anna McCready, both Emmanuel alumni, and now working for Brewin Dolphin, began by talking about their career paths to date, before taking

100-year life : a blessing or a curse? Join the debate

Event rescheduled – 2nd May, 2018.  Working in partnership with North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE), we have a plan in place which will begin to harness the ideas of students to build the North East as a responsible and ethical business region. With the involvement of local schools (St Bede’s, Durham), universities (Northumbria

Connecting Young People to their Future Roles

Virgin Money supports the economics curriculum by inviting students to participate in workshops and summer internships.  Having heard this, Ms Sherry Coutu, Executive Chairman and Founder, Founders4Schools, invited Mr Clarke, Karl Morgan (Virgin Money), and students, to the Future Forward event at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop.  The evening was a showcase event to promote the merits

North East Initiative on Business Ethics

Taken from:   Hello! I’m Caroline. You’re probably wondering why on earth The Journal has asked me to write a column, particularly because they then said ‘it could be about anything!’ Maybe it’s because I’m an ageing import from the South East who had the good luck to marry a commercial fisherman and bring

Under-representation of women in Economics

In recent weeks, you may have noticed an upsurge in newspaper articles about the under- representation of women in economics; e.g. It was a coincidence that, at the same time, I was contacted via the website by a colleague in Australia, regarding a research project into this very issue. The Reserve Bank of Australia

National Citizen Service Star School Awards

On Thursday 19 th October, 2017, G Conomics and Mr Ridley were delighted to attend the NCS Star School Awards Dinner, hosted at The Discovery Museum, Newcastle. After a brief drinks reception, where delegates were invited to network with colleagues, we were ushered to the top floor where we enjoyed a fabulous meal, and, of

Emmanuel College Yearbook 2016-17

Read about G Conomics’ impact at Emmanuel College in their 2016-17 yearbook: Click here to view the yearbook

Alumni Reunion

This week, G Conomics and Mr Ridley were delighted to restart the G Conomics alumni burger evenings.  Some former students from the class of 2013 have already graduated with first class honours whilst others are working towards their successful graduation in a year’s time.  Job search is now forefront in their minds.  We wish them


If you’re interested in what G Conomics has been up to you can find a whole load more information in these newsletters!   Click the links to view and download the newsletters: Newsletter 2015-16 Newsletter 2016-17