George Tsounias explains how you can help to start the financial conversation with students across the UK, by joining the PFS’s Education Champions initiative
The PFS’s Education Champions pro bono initiative aims to deliver financial competency sessions to local schools and colleges across the whole UK. So far, more than 500 Education Champions have registered their interest in this pro bono programme, with more than 250 of those receiving face-to-face training on the use of our first resource, Discover Fortunes.
Education Champions across the UK have started going into their local schools and we love hearing about their experience in schools.
Starting the conversation
Discover Fortunes is a board game played in teams of five to six students and based around five client portfolios, where students assess a client’s risk profile before agreeing on an individual’s financial planning options, which are grouped into four categories – protection, pensions, savings and investments. Students work together in teams to determine answers to each of the rounds and gain points. This game enables Education Champions to start the financial conversation, as students begin to have a basic understanding of protection, pensions, savings and investments.
Gamification is a proven and successful way of introducing students to new concepts in a fun and light-hearted way.
Some of our Education Champions had this to say about their recent experience in schools:
“The session was held with a group of students studying business at BTEC level, and the lecturer felt the session was particularly placed well at the point they had reached in their subject. The pupils had some very basic knowledge of the main areas we covered.” (Martin Hill and Claire Henderson – visited Wilmslow High School).
“Feedback has been humbling. Both the headmaster and class teacher spoke to me afterwards, where they told me some of the students had said it’s one of the best lessons they’d ever had.” (Chris Broome – held a session at Kingsthorpe College).
A recent study – conducted by the UK Financial Capability Strategy, which is supported by The Money Advice Service – revealed that the proportion of young people wanting money lessons in school has risen to 83%. While financial education was made part of the curriculum in 2014, provision can vary from school
As part of the PFS’s financial education vision, we are developing a series of resources aimed at volunteer delivery and targeted at students aged 15-18. These resources will align with themes explored in the recently launched Your Money Matters financial education textbook that was funded by Martin Lewis and distributed across schools secondary schools in England.
Themes covered in our first series of resources are:
- Budget and prioritisation
Focus – enabling students to develop their understanding of the value of everyday expenditure.
- Making decisions and risk
Focus – students gain an understanding of their attitude to risk and how this can influence financial choices they make.
- Staying safe
Focus – identifying scams (of growing importance for young people).
- Moving on from school
Focus: student finance, earning, tax, national insurance, pensions.
These resources will enable Education Champions to deliver a series of standalone sessions aimed at raising the financial competency of students, either as follow-on from Discover Fortunes or independently. For more information, email: George.firstname.lastname@example.org
George Tsounias is relationship manager - education at the PFS