Opinion 

Educating school children about finances

Marlene Outrim

Marlene Outrim

Two weeks ago was My Money Week, and as has been our custom in the past few years we presented to a local primary school on money and behaviour.

My Money Week is a national activity for primary and secondary schools that provides a great opportunity for young people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence in money matters to thrive in our society.

First run in 2009, it is organised by UK educational charity Young Money (formerly the Personal Finance Education Group).

The Moneyfesto is a half-day event for primary school pupils, involving a number of money-themed learning activities that aim to elicit pupils’ views about personal finance education that can be used in curriculum planning.

The pupils mainly work in small groups, which offers lots of opportunities for the teachers to observe what topics the children enjoy.

It then enables them to develop further sessions during the year.

You might wonder why we get involved on a voluntary basis when it is unlikely to lead to new business, but we see this as part of our corporate social responsibility.

The children seem really interested in the projects and behavioural problems we set them: it is a fun and educational money-learning event.

The pupils are also able to make spending and saving decisions in different situations, express how money makes them feel and what money means to them.

We find that teachers do not feel so confident about discussing money matters with children: it is a subject that some of them feel they need educating on themselves and are clearly relieved to have the ‘experts’ in to teach.

The event is aimed at four to 19-year-olds, so if primary school children seem a bit daunting, you can easily approach the junior and senior schools.

It is a worthwhile exercise as it ensures young people improve their financial capability and develop knowledge of issues that could affect their financial wellbeing throughout their lives.

All the resources are provided if you want to try it next year.

In our case, and importantly, each child goes home with a Uniq Family Wealth ‘Penny’ piggy bank to start their savings in earnest.

Marlene Outrim is managing director at Uniq Family Wealth