St Swithun’s School hosted an Institute of Economic Affairs A-level economics conference in March. Twenty-two of the school’s sixth-form economists were joined for the day by South Downs College and Sherfield School, Hampshire.
Grant Tucker, education outreach officer of the IEA, chaired the conference. The IEA is a UK free-market think-tank which was founded in 1955 and promotes the intellectual case for a free economy, low taxes, freedom in education, health and welfare and lower levels of regulation in the context of the current economic challenges facing Britain and the wider global environment.
Speakers at the conference included Dr Steve Davies, education director at the IEA, Dr Lynne Kiesling, senior lecturer in the department of economics at Northwestern University, Illinois and Ewan Stewart from Walbrook Economics, independent consultants, London.
Dr Davies spoke to the students about globalisation and Britain’s future trading partners, offering a perspective of economic history in the context of today’s global economy. In addition, Dr Davies concluded the day with a short talk on the importance and role of the economist in providing research and analysis in relation to the increase in overall living standards of world economies.
Dr Lynne Kiesling, one of few female economists, spoke about the conflict between the energy markets and the wider ecological environment, including the role of property rights in a free-market economy. Ewen Stewart spoke about the current state of the UK, US and EU economies in the context of the credit crunch and recent return to growth.
Conference organiser, Jacqueline Campbell, head of economics at St Swithun’s, said: “The students were fully engaged for the four hours of lectures and left the day with many important and relevant talking points in the lead-up to exams.”