Category Archives: Business Studies

Business in action

If, like us, you think it essential to study business as it happens, where it happens, then we invite you to bring your students to some of Europe’s most exciting cities to see business in action.

You will be welcome guests at large and small concerns who are happy to show you the way they do things.

Take a look at Business Studies Tours to whet your appetite, then give us a call to talk through your needs.

Culture Trails

Travel House, Llwynmawr, Llangollen LL20 7BB

Tel: 01691 886161 e:

Critique of OCR GCSE Business A293 Case Study – Regeneration of Bowton, Tom’s Toys, GG Toys plc

Please find below our initial critique of Section 1, paragraph 1 of this years’ OCR GCSE Business Studies A293 Case Study on The Regeneration of Bowton, Tom’s Toys and GG Toys plc.  This is just a tiny Extract of what will be included in our highly acclaimed Teacher’s Companion / Student Revision Buddy produced to support teachers and their students on the pre-released case study.

Explanation of Key Terms, Concepts and Issues Raised

SECTION 1   Is it the end for Bowton?

The Difficult Economic Conditions between 2008 and 2011

P.2, Section 1 – lines 6-9.

What the Case Study says

The case study tells us that between 2008 and 2011:

  • ‘Unemployment rose by 6,000, meaning that by 2011 14,000 out of a workforce of 80,000 were out of work’.
  • ‘Incomes fell by 8% on average’.
  • ’42 businesses closed and only 15 start-ups occurred’.

What is meant by ‘unemployment’ and ‘incomes’?

Unemployment is the number of people in the working population who are unable to find work.  It is measured by subtracting the number of people actually in employment from the total number of people able and willing to work.  From the information provided in the case study, we can also calculate the unemployment rate, ie the number of unemployed people expressed as a percentage of the number of people willing and able to work.  This was 17.5% for Bowton in 2011 (6,000 / 14,000 x 100). A quick search on google reveals this to be more than double the national average at this time; this ranged from 7.7% to 8.4% between January and December 2011. (Source:

The reference to ‘incomes’ falling concerns consumer incomes, not ‘income’ related to business accounts.  It is the money individual consumers earn from working, investment (eg interest on savings accounts, dividends on any shares held in companies), or other sources (eg gifts from family and friends).  Consumer incomes can actually be classed into:

  • disposable income – the money left over after compulsory deductions, such as tax and national insurance payments, have been made.
  • discretionary income – the money left over after people’s basic necessities eg food, drink, mortgage, clothes, travel to work, etc have been paid.

Household income is also often used as an economic indicator ie a measure to assess the state of the economy at a particular point in time.  This is the combined gross income of all the members of a household who are 15 years old and older.  (NB Household members do not have to be related to be considered members of the same household).

>How can a rise in unemployment, fall in incomes and business closures affect consumers, businesses and the government / local authority?

When people are unemployed, sales of goods and services generally fall, particularly for businesses selling (or manufacturing) non-essential items ie luxuries (such as toys), as well as income-sensitive goods (such as houses and cars), as opposed to necessities (such as food and medicines).  This is because unemployed people have less income to spend on goods and services.

With less sales a business has less revenue and is likely to make less profit, and with less revenue coming in to cover fixed costs, it may also suffer from cash flow problemsPoor financial reward in terms of profit and / or inability to meet debts as they fall due can, ultimately, result in business closure.  In the case of Bowton, although there were 15 start-ups during the period, 42 businesses closed.  These businesses could very well have been those selling non-essential items, or income-sensitive goods.

Bowton Council would have been concerned about the rise in unemployment, fall in incomes and business closures because higher unemployment and business closures means less revenue for the Council / government from taxes (eg PAYE, NI, VAT, corporation tax and business rates).  Furthermore, falling incomes means greater spending on welfare benefits.  This includes, for example:

  • paying unemployed people income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • providing people on a low income any one, some or all of the following benefits: housing benefit and income support (soon to be replaced by universal credit), council tax reduction, working tax credit, child tax credit, help with one-off expenses through the Social Fund, and / or help with health, education and legal costs.

It is, therefore, not surprising that Bowton Town Council sort to address the situation through their ‘Regeneration Plan’ (discussed further in a subsequent section below).

On a positive note, businesses that manage to survive a period of high unemployment (and falling incomes) may benefit from the following:

  • easier recruitment – as there should be more applicants for each vacancy.
  • less pressure to increase wages – as there will be a greater supply of unemployed labour.
  • increased staff retention / lower labour turnover – as employees will be less likely to leave, with fewer alternative job opportunities available elsewhere.

In the case of Bowton, businesses benefited from the Council’s decision to offer grants to businesses that wanted to locate or expand in the town, as the area became in need of regeneration (lines 13-16).  (These grants are discussed in detail in a subsequent section of this Companion / Revision Buddy).

In detail our Complete Teacher’s Companion / Student Revision Buddy contains: 

  • a step-by-step explanation of the key terms, concepts and issues raised (directly or indirectly) in the Case Study.  These are discussed in the order in which they appear in the Case Study.
  • a wide range of mini quizzes, (including answers) – to check and consolidate students’ understanding of the above, and to help make revision fun.  This includes word searches, missing word exercises, classification, opposite activities, match making exercises, crosswords, and  short question and answer exercises.
  • a mock examination paper – to enable students to be tested in more formal examination conditions.
  • mark schemes and a highly comprehensive range of responses to each question posed in the mock examination paper.
  • a list of useful web addresses – providing access to information and videos on topics raised in the Case Study – for students to carry out further research independently.
  • tips on how to maximise performance in the exam.

The Complete Teacher’s Companion / Student Revision Buddy is due out 31 October 2017 –  £75 (+vat) download version (+£2.50 for CD)

Two additional mock papers will also be published by the 30 November 2017 – £25 (+vat) download version (+£2.50 for CD)

Click here to pre-order if you have not pre-ordered already


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Resources can be ordered and paid for online and instantly downloaded or emailed upon publication, or sent on CD at an additional P&P charge of £2.50.  We can also supply the resource and subsequently invoice your school/college.

APT Initiatives Ltd

Business & Economics Education Specialists
Minimising Workloads, Maximising Performance

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Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2017 Booking Now Open

Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers, and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for our older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

Highlights of Summer 2017 for students interested in current affairs:

The Economics Summer School for students aged 15-18. Focusing on political economy and macro-economics, the five-day Economics Summer School will include seminars on a diverse range of topics, from financial and currency markets to an analysis of economic inequality and its potential remedies. We will also be looking in some detail at the causes and prognosis of the Eurozone crisis, and evaluating more generally the success of ‘austerity’ policies both in the UK and in the wider global context. The continuing impact of Brexit for both the UK and other economies will also be examined. The focus throughout will be on debate and discussion, and on encouraging and supporting students to engage critically and actively with the material.

The Politics Summer School for students aged 15-18. This five-day course will include seminars on key questions within political theory and philosophy, workshops on important policy areas, and analysis of changing voter behavior in both the UK and US. The Summer School will conclude with a full day Mock Parliament, with participants taking the role of MPs, forming parties, making policy and debating legislation.

The International Relations Summer School for students aged 15-18. This course will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism, constructivism and Marxism – and will then look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, the impact of changing oil prices, regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and the European response to the migration crisis.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2017. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews, and tutors at There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Exceptional Business & Economics Teaching Resources



Business Studies Educational Software Solution – 10 titles packed with hundreds of stunning curriculum 3D animations describing difficult to understand concepts for Business Studies. There are texts, voice-overs, quiz zones, drag and drops, multiple choice quizzes and more. Request your 14-day free trial of Business Studies Educational Software Solution.

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First and Best in Education

Enterprise Education The Course Book – explores the notion of Enterprise and how it can be applied throughout the school, as well as examining the career implications of enterprise. The volume then covers the setting up of a work-related programme before going into examples of enterprise opportunities including simulations, school generated projects and engagement with business.

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Postal address:
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd, Earlstrees Ct, Earlstrees Rd, Corby, Northants, NN17 4HH



Search Taster Day Events – helps Business and Economics teachers discover an array of events to book their students on to, such as university and college taster days, workshops, residentials, open days, outreach events and widening participation opportunities.

+44(0)208 798 0982


ZigZag Education

Business and Economics Teaching Resources – publishers of photocopiable and digital teaching resources for schools.

0117 950 3199
Postal address:
ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol, BS10 5PY


Signpost Educational Ltd

Student Packs: for lessons and exams – Handy for your students and especially useful for exams. Consists of a clear plastic, “exam friendly” zip up wallet containing:  Three quality ballpens  (black ink), two HB pencils, 15 cm ruler, metal sharpener, eraser. approx, size:  224 x 157 mm.

Calculators – basic calculators, Casio scientific calculators, LK 183 scientific calculators, Sharp scientific calculators, Texet scientific calculators and Aurora scientific calculators.

Telephone: 020-7515-1797
Postal address:


You can find more Exceptional Teaching resources at

Free mini quiz on business activity!

Use our free quiz to help your class understand the different levels of business activity.

Test your students’ knowledge of the sectors of industry. Which types of businesses are growing and which are in decline, and why? Explore which factors affect primary, secondary and tertiary business sectors and chains of production.

Try it now on our Doddle Business Studies page.

Want to see more of what Doddle can do to help target revision? Book a free online demo!
One of our team will give you a free tour of Doddle, and show you how the hundreds of resources can engage your students, test their understanding and support your revision planning.