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Robert Peston Visit

As part of the launch of the charity Speakers for Schools which he has recently founded the BBC Business Editor, Robert Peston delivered a motivational speech to our business and economics students at Central Foundation Boys’ School.

Peston has been BBC Business Editor since February 2006 and has been noted for his significant contributions to journalism. His story on Northern Rock seeking emergency financial help from the Bank of England won the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Award for “Scoop of the Year” in the 2007/8 awards and the Wincott Award for “Business News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year”. He was also named “Specialist Journalist of the Year” and “Television Journalist of the Year”  for his coverage of the credit crunch and a string of scoops associated with it at the 2008/9 Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards. Additionally, his scoop on Lloyds TSB’s takeover of HBOS won the Royal Television Society’s “Scoop of the Year” award.

Speakers for Schools is a not for profit charity administered in partnership with the charity the Education and Employers Taskforce whose aim is to provide state schools with access to a network of speakers who are leaders and experts in their field and are willing to give inspirational talks to young people for free.

Students were engrossed by Peston’s presentation as he spoke for over an hour and a half firstly giving an overview of his own educational experience at Highgate Wood Secondary School and then giving a penetrating and informed analysis of the global economic situation.

Peston spoke passionately about his experience of going to a state school saying how studying with people from a range of backgrounds had been invaluable in helping him to understand how the world works. Encouraging students to work as hard as possible to ‘be the best they can be’ he told them they shouldn’t panic if they didn’t have a clear idea of what they want to do in the long term. While acknowledging that employment opportunities are not currently good he stressed that as global competition, particularly from China, is only going to get stronger it is crucial that young people seize every educational opportunity to achieve their full potential.

His presentation on the global economy was provocatively entitled ‘What’s obsessing me – the great debt shuffle’. Posing key questions such as ‘Why are we in such an economic mess?’, ‘Why are rich countries going through difficult times?’ and ‘What is the role of the banking system?’ Peston talked through a series of slides expressing complex economic data putting in plain words his analysis of how and why the economic situation developed and laying out possible future scenarios.  While his topic and analysis were not optimistic students were engaged throughout his talk as judged from the number and quality of the thoughtful and informed questions from the floor.

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Robert Peston Visit  Robert Peston Visit

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