Justin Tomlinson MP and Robert Buckland MP have called for Swindon schools to get their pupils talking and learning about money, as part of a charity’s new campaign to help improve the financial capability of young people.
Every primary and secondary school in the town has been sent free Get Money Smart posters and teaching materials by national charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), which wants to get children talking about money in the classroom.
The charity’s Get Money Smart posters – for children aged up to seven, 11, 14 and 16 – are designed to encourage classroom discussions about things children can do to learn more about money and personal finance. Ideas for different ages include checking your change, estimating the cost of a weekly shop, comparing mobile phone tariffs and planning and budgeting for a trip.
Schools in Swindon are being encouraged to hold discussions with their pupils over 4 things the posters suggest they can do to learn about money – with the fifth being left up to each class to decide. Ideas for the 5th activity can then be shared with other classes across the country on Twitter using the #5thingstodo hashtag.
Justin and Robert have thrown their weight behind the effort as a way of helping young people in Swindon to gain the vital skills and knowledge they will need to manage their personal finances throughout their lives.
The move follows news that after years of campaigning by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People Chaired by Justin, pfeg and MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis, financial education will be taught in secondary schools as part of the National Curriculum from September 2014.
Justin said: “I led the successful campaign to secure Financial Education into the National Curriculum as it is vital we equip the next generation of consumers to be able to make informed and savvy financial decisions. I am grateful my friend Martin Lewis has personally funded the brilliant Get Money Smart scheme.”
Robert added: “This is a great opportunity for local schools to take advantage of a fantastic campaign. This project is a fun and challenging way for young people to learn more about money and we look forward to Swindon schools once again taking the lead on such an important issue.”
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of Justin and Robert for this free new scheme for primary and secondary schools in Swindon.
"I hope all local schools will seize the opportunity to use their Get Money Smart posters to bring money to life in the classroom. This is a crucial topic that every young person should learn.
"Getting pupils talking about money and the financial decisions they will face in the future is a great way to start.”
The campaign has been made possible through a personal donation to pfeg from MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis, which has enabled the charity to send free copies of the Get Money Smart posters and teaching resources to primary and secondary schools in the North Swindon area and across the country.