Involve your pupils or students in deciding which financial topics are most important to them. Using a small sample group, such as the school council, ask them to map out the most important money related issues to them. These may well look very different dependent upon the ages of the students involved and this could be the basis for the lessons you use with different year groups.
Develop a programme which builds on, and consolidates, prior learning. Reinforcing key financial topics and extending them a little further is a great way to develop young people’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in those areas. You can use the Financial Education Planning Frameworks as a guide to help with this; all of the lesson plans in this section have been mapped against these frameworks.
Learning about money whilst in school is extremely important, but there are opportunities that children and young people can get at home that are very difficult to replicate within school. You may want to inform parents and guardians that a programme of financial education is taking place and provide some guidance on how they can best support this at home.
Delivering financial education through lessons is proven to have the most significant impact on learning, however accompanying this with extra curricular activities can help to consolidate and further develop key learning. You could bring together some of the lesson plan activities to run within an off-timetable day, or train older students to deliver lessons to their younger peers.
Be aware that, like many other areas of learning, teaching about money can involve covering areas that some could find sensitive. These may include issues involving gender – such as pay gaps, religion – such as the application of Sharia Law, and certain inequalities – such as levels of pocket money. Ensure that all staff involved in delivery are aware of those issues and how to address them, as well as being familiar with the school disclosure policy should anything of this nature arise.
Financial education does not necessarily need to sit within just one or two curriculum areas; it has the potential to be truly cross-curricular, and contribute to a whole school approach to financial education. This has the benefit that all staff within your school may well contribute to delivery, and senior leadership teams appreciate the importance of high quality financial education. The inclusion of financial education as part of the whole school improvement plan is a great way to ensure it continues to be developed within your school.
Be aware that some teachers can find the thought of delivering financial education, particularly as it’s not a subject specialism, a little daunting. Ofsted have highlighted that this is one of the key reasons that teachers give for not delivering enough financial education. The lesson plans and resources have been made so that they can be delivered by all teachers, of all specialisms and of all levels of experience. However if do you feel that your staff would benefit from further support we have trained over 25,000 teachers to deliver quality financial education over 15 years and can offer a a 10% discount on the current price of our CPD Training!
Finding out the difference that financial education makes to young people can be a little difficult, however, knowing this is really important to understanding the value it brings to your students and your school. There are many ways in which you can gather this, but one of the simplest is to use the Planning Frameworks to establish a baseline with a sample group of students before they have started their financial education learning. Ask them to tick off the statements they feel they already know and then repeat the process once they have received their financial education provision and explore the difference.
Using volunteers to complement the delivery of financial education can be a great opportunity to interact with the local school community. You could invite someone from a local bank, building society or credit union to provide information about day to day money management. Volunteers don’t necessarily need to be from a financial services background however as we all use money on a daily basis, and some of the best volunteers are those who can give personal input on certain circumstances and the decisions that could be made.