Five budding economists from Watford Grammar School for Girls have become South East of England Champions in the Area Finals of the national "Target 2.0" competition, run by the Bank of England and The Times.

The team has secured a place in the national finals and £1,000 for the school.

Team Captain Shamima Manzoor, Jenny Lee, Olivia Martin, Vayana Skabrin and Aliya Al-Yassin beat strong competition from schools in the south east region to be declared champions.

Head of social sciences, Bob Nutter, said: "This is a particularly marvellous achievement because we have never reached this stage of the competition before.

"It is a tribute to the hard work of the girls in the team and to their behind-the-scenes researchers and supporters. We have every confidence that they will do well in the National Final."

The students, who are all studying economics in the Upper Sixth, had to put themselves into the position of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and decide how to keep inflation at its target level of 2.0 per cent.

The judges praised them for their teamwork and original research, which included interviews with many senior economists.

They also had to answer questions put to them by judges including three Bank of England experts. They will now be one of six teams to progress to the national final, which will be held at the Bank of England itself.

Shamima said: "The whole team has worked very hard to get to the final round of the competition and our teachers, Mr Nutter and Mrs Chopra, have supported us fully. We are looking forward to the challenge of competing against the five other finalists at the Bank of England later this term."