Budding entrepreneurs from St Augustine’s College in Trowbridge have been highly commended at a major business competition.

The economics and business students went head-to-head with 48 school teams across the country in the final of the national Business Accounting Skills Education (BASE) competition run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Niamh Dunne, James Bacon, Olivia Bomani, Ruth Chester, Louis Wain and Kristian Devitto were among the 2,700 students, aged 16-19, that took part in the competition at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, in June.

Having got through the regional heats in March, they had to take part in a challenging scenario which they had to resolve, culminating in a presentation to a panel of judges.

Though beaten for top spot by the Jersey College for Girls, they were highly praised for their efforts and hard work over the past few months.

Jon Blake, ICAEW regional director South West, said: “Congratulations to St Augustine’s – it’s great to see young people developing their business skills while still in education.

“Employability skills are top of the political and business agenda and our competition aims to address this. “ Mark Protherough, ICAEW executive director, learning and professional development, said: “This was the biggest final of BASE yet and the talent was amazing. Students showcased the vital skills they need for business.

“By communicating, problem-solving and demonstrating financial capabilities, they have shown just what interesting things chartered accountants can do.

“I want to congratulate all the finalists for what they’ve achieved. They’ve impressed some of the biggest names in the retail industry and accounting profession.”

Schools from the West of England scooped four of the nine awards handed out at the BASE Final at the NEC in Birmingham.