George Tsounias discusses how the My Personal Finance Skills programme is going online and catches up with an Education Champion
The My Personal Finance Skills initiative delivers free financial education workshops to schools and colleges across the UK through a network of more than 900 PFS members (Education Champions) who are committed to giving something back to the local communities they serve.
The programme was on course to conduct more than 700 workshops nationally, reaching more than 21,000 students by the end of the year. Due to recent developments with Covid-19 and subsequent school closures, we have had to postpone all scheduled workshops to a time when it is safe to resume in-school workshops once again. The delivery of our free in-school workshops would not be possible without our growing network of Education Champions, who have taken time out of their working day to help students have a better understanding of personal finance.
To adapt to current circumstances, we have adapted our in-school material into online financial education sessions on our recently launched My Personal Finance Skills website. This will ensure that free financial education is still available while students are at home. As well as the initial 4 financial education sessions, we are working on bitesize learning videos as well as other content to supplement learning.
The PFS is committed to helping students have better financial awareness and providing support to teachers who are passionate about students’ understanding of money and who are looking for free external support from professionals.
Thank you to all our Education Champions for your support, enthusiasm and commitment to the programme this year. We hope that our financial education workshops will be up and running in schools as soon as possible and always in line with government guidelines.
To find out more, visit: www.mypersonalfinanceskills.org
George Tsounias is relationships manager of education at the PFS
Education Champion Profile
We recently met with Dan Haylett of TFP Financial Planning, who has conducted several of our free financial education workshops at a local school.
Why did you volunteer as an Education Champion?
It is vital that we can teach and educate our next generation of school leavers about the real world of money. I know from speaking with friends who are teachers that schools struggle to fit these important topics into an already packed curriculum.
How did you organise the workshops?
I first approached the school that my daughter attends – Sandon School – to see if there was an appetite for me to deliver the workshops. I arranged a meeting with the head of business and economics to discuss the topics covered in the workshops and she loved it. She has built it into lessons that she delivers to year 11-13 students and I have gone through a programme of delivering each of the four workshops.
It has been amazing – the students are so engaged with the messaging and really interested in their future finances. It has led to some great and slightly off-piste conversations about wider money topics, which has been brilliant to be part of.
What response did you receive from students and staff?
Feedback has been great. Many of the students are not that well versed in even the simplest of money areas and it has opened their eyes to the real world and how to start thinking about their life after school. The teachers have been fantastic and have been fully supportive within the lessons.
What advice would you give others considering volunteering?
If you can spare a couple of hours a month, then just do it! The workshops are easy to deliver and the support of the team at the PFS is brilliant. It is so worthwhile and you know you are helping bridge a huge gap in knowledge and resource that the schools and students desperately need.
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