To date a total of 54,679 students have benefited from at least one form of financial education as a result of the programme, along with 2,547 teachers who have been up-skilled and now feel confident about delivering financial education competently. In addition, we take pride in the results our funded schools have achieved, demonstrated in their submitted portfolios that individually vary greatly but with results that are equally impressive.
Out of the many positive outcomes we receive on a monthly basis, a few stick in my mind that I would like to share:
• One schools activity; ‘The Town of Edith Neville’, which involved setting up a town within the school; recruitment days (giving pupils the opportunity to apply for their favourite job and work to earn money); ‘to market day’ where children got to spend their hard-earned cash on goods and activities. Children’s aspirations were raised and they learnt important lessons, such as the value of money.
• Another school developed a healthy eating celebration event involving pupils learning about the cost of healthy, locally sourced food against unhealthy products. This activity progressed into running a celebration event during which pupils shared the importance of their learning with other local schools, parents and governors.
• And the fantastic ‘shed shop’ that was bought from the programme’s bursary and used to build skills, knowledge and confidence when it came to working with others, dealing with the general public, budgeting and managing money for Special Educational Needs (SEN) students.
These are just a few examples in a whole array of learning and activities that have been devised as a by-product of this programme. We are reaching pupils, teachers and the wider community on a number of levels. Our programme helps young people to build not only ‘hard’ skills – managing money and the ability to budget (I can’t tell you how many people that have come to me and said ‘I wish I had learnt this in school!’) but also critical soft skills such as confidence and raising aspirations.
However, our work is far from over! Within the Centres of Excellence network there are currently 100 funded schools within England, and our recent integration into Wales means we can add two more to that figure, making a total of 102 primary, secondary and FE colleges currently on the Centres of Excellence journey. There is, of course, a very long way to go, with just over 26,000 schools spanning over these regions, incorporating this with the regular message coming from our educational network – ‘financial education is more important now than ever before’. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate, the financial education battle is not over, but through Centres of Excellence we can shine a light on beacons of excellent practice and support even more schools to embed high quality financial education for the future of their young people.
For more details on the Centres of Excellence programme – please see; http://www.pfeg.org/projects-funding/projects/pfeg-centres-excellence