Columnist Fiona Ross is a money mentor at Citizens Advice, Havant, and heads up the Work Out Your Money project – which she would like to see in all secondary schools
MY role as money mentor takes me into the classrooms of secondary schools in the Havant area where we help students understand many aspects of managing their money.
Financial capability has been a compulsory part of the National Curriculum in secondary schools since September 2014.
As young people are now exposed to an increasing range of financial decisions – from downloading music to phone contracts – it is important that they are equipped with the skills to help them make these decisions.
While it is important that young people learn the mathematics involved in money decisions such as loan interest, it is also vital they learn valuable habits and are encouraged to save from a young age.
This is where we step in.
We have designed sessions for Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) which show them the importance of saving and how to open an account.
These are fun, interactive sessions which encourage the students to decide how much they could save based on their own personal situation.
They also learn how much the ‘big ticket’ items cost – such as learning to drive and buying a house.
Our sessions for Key Stage 4 (Years 9 and 10) are geared to helping them understand their payslip when they start working.
They also discover where taxes are spent to benefit the wider community.
Other topics on our programme cover the need for insurance and being able to compare loans by deciphering APR.
Our team of teachers are equipped with the skills to confidently deliver personal finance lessons.
With 20 years’ experience as a manager in financial institutions and 10 years teaching financial capability, I consider myself a subject specialist who can support the schools through these curriculum changes.
Although I am attached to Havant CAB, if you feel your school would benefit from the Work Out Your Money financial capability programme I can signpost you in the right direction.
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (023) 9247 6013.