Centre of Excellence Award for the Academy

Banbridge Academy is proud to announce it has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence by Young Enterprise Northern Ireland.  This prestigious designation acknowledges the school’s exceptional commitment to equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives.


The Academy Principal, Mr Robin McLoughlin OBE said, “We are thrilled to receive this recognition from Young Enterprise. Financial literacy is a critical life skill, and we are dedicated to providing our students with a strong foundation in this area. This Centre of Excellence acknowledgement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Mrs Dow, teacher in charge of Young Enterprise, and other colleagues who have worked with Young Enterprise to provide insightful and engaging programmes to empower our students to be financially responsible.”


The Young Enterprise Centre of Excellence programme recognises schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to financial education across the curriculum. To achieve this designation, Banbridge Academy underwent a rigorous assessment process that evaluated the school’s financial education and student engagement in financial literacy programmes.


“At the Academy, we believe that financial education is not just learning about money management,” said Mr Bond, Head of Careers, “It’s about developing critical thinking skills, fostering responsible decision-making, and preparing students for future success.”


As a Centre of Excellence, the Academy, will continue to expand its financial education offerings, providing students with even more opportunities to learn about personal finance.  During the academic year the programmes included:



Step Up – Year 8 – Students develop skills and positive attitudes as they make the leap from primary to post-primary school.

You’re Hired – Year 12 – Five modules tailored to the needs of the students, to develop their employability skills through learning how to complete a CV, a job application form and how to prepare for an interview.

Food & Drink Industry Masterclass – Year 9 Home Economics classes – Focused seminar based on the growth of the food & drink sector in Northern Ireland. It helps develop students thinking skills and personal capabilities through ideation of a new unique product for the sector.



Personal Economics – Year 14 – Helping young people develop money management skills for life, with introductions to credit and debt, savings and budgeting.

My Money Matters – Year 12 (Digital) – Seminar introducing students to different types of technology and digital careers. Students work in teams to ideate a new digital solution for a problem faced by a specific target market, including branding, price, marketing and a final presentation.



QuickStart Programme – cohort of Year 9 pupils – Split into 7 steps and guiding pupils through running a business. The business can bring a product to market or can be run conceptually.

10X Challenge – Year 10 pupils – Supporting young people to develop an enterprising mindset and prepare for the world of work as they see what business they can create with just £10 in 4 weeks.

Company Programme – cohort of Year 13 pupils – the flagship programme.  Students gain first-hand experience of setting up and running their own real business. From devising a product concept through to the development of the actual product. Students also get access to external trading events and mentoring from a business advisor.