George Tsounias reveals how the My Personal Finance Skills programme is delivering free financial education during the coronavirus pandemic
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, known as Education Champions, who are committed to giving something back to the local communities they serve.
A staggering four out of five students say they are not taught enough practical money lessons in school, the Financial Times reported in 2019. Now, more than ever, financial education is pivotal for young people about to enter adult life and the PFS is committed to continue delivering these free workshops that are so valued by students.
New personal finance talks
We all know how limited schools are with their time and however important they might think financial education is, there sometimes is just no room on the timetable for our workshops. As a result, we have introduced a series of personal finance talks that can be delivered to large groups of students at one time and within 30 minutes. Topics include identity theft and scams, personal finance basics, and things to consider when leaving school. More will be added in time.
We are pleased to say that since September, our live financial education workshops have landed. Education Champions have started to deliver live sessions via Zoom, MS Teams or other platforms used by schools. This gives greater flexibility for people wishing to still offer support, but from the comfort of their own home or office. Not only this, we are now able to provide such opportunities for Education Champions who perhaps were not living as close to previous school requests.
In-school workshops – what next?
While most of our workshops are being conducted virtually, there are some schools that will accept external visitors as schools continue to remain open and therefore request our in-school offering. We treat such requests on a case-by-case basis and only go ahead should the Education Champion feel they want to deliver in this way, while making sure that the school outlines its Covid-19 safety measures. For more information visit: www.mypersonalfinanceskills.org
As well as recordings of educational sessions covering scam awareness, moving on from school, future finances and how to make financial decisions, the My Personal Finance Skills website continues to host regular student money blogs – articles produced by Education Champions about money matters that impact teenagers.
We know many of our members will have some form of contact with a secondary school so, where you can, please highlight the work we do, we could be delivering in a school near you in the future.
To get involved as an Education Champion, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
George Tsounias is relationship manager of education at the PFS