WIN £12,500 of prizes for schools with our 2018 Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Competition

Published by Moira O'Neill on 19 December 2017.
Last updated on 11 January 2018

At Moneywise, we believe it’s never too soon for young people to learn about their finances. By mastering money basics early on in life, they can grow up to be the most financially savvy generation yet.

In fact, it’s so important to us that children are taught well about money that we have teamed up with Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust to offer schools with the best personal finance teachers £12,500 to spend on equipment. Teachers at both primary and secondary level in UK schools are eligible for the competition.

This year, the prize money pot is much greater than it was for the same awards last year. So we will be making separate awards to teachers at primary and secondary school level, splitting the £12,500 between the winners and runners-up in several categories.

Are you a parent, pupil, school governor or teacher? Do you know someone who is teaching personal finance at school? Would you like to nominate someone for this award? We want to know how they make the teaching of personal finance fun, interactive and relevant.

To put forward your nominations, please email editor@moneywise.co.uk the name of the teacher(s) and the name and address of the school(s), plus your reasons for nominating them.

Personal finance teachers can also enter the awards directly. For an entry form, please email editor@moneywise.co.uk.

Moneywise will then contact teachers who have entered the competition, inviting them to submit their entry, including three favourite personal finance lessons.

The competition is open for nominations and entries until the end of March. Moneywise will then shortlist the best entries to be put to our judging panel, which includes Moira O’Neill, editor of Moneywise, Jeff Prestridge, the personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday and columnist for Moneywise, plus experts at the Money Advice Service and our sponsor Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust.

The winners and runners-up will be announced at Moneywise’s flagship Customer Service Awards on 7 June 2018. The prize funds will be sent to the teachers’ schools by the end of the summer term.

Last year’s Personal Finance Teacher of the Year


Last year’s entries for the Moneywise Personal Finance Teacher of the Year award revealed a wide range of strategies and approaches to teaching money issues.

Some teachers used thought provoking questions to make the children question their beliefs about money. Others worked with the children to create financial values that are displayed around the school.

Some schools showed how they ran personal finance days or week-long projects, influenced by My Money Week, a source of free teaching resources and activities that runs every summer to bring money management to life in schools.

The competition winner, Claire Fovargue (pictured below with her 'bank workers'), gives up her own time to create and supervise a school bank and shop for the 500 children at Kirton Primary School in Boston, Lincolnshire, where she is assistant headteacher.


The school has its own currency – the Kirt, worth about 3p. All children can earn Kirts as rewards for full school attendance over a term, getting full marks in spelling or times tables tests (earning one Kirt) and representing the school at sport, music or other events. The store and bank are run by older children who are paid in Kirts after a rigorous application and interview process, plus training.

The shop sells merchandise at prices ranging from three Kirts to 100 Kirts. Every child, from ages five to 11, has their own ‘bank account’ and they can choose whether to bank their Kirts to save for expensive purchases (earning 10% interest each half term) or to spend them in the school store on bouncy balls, novelty rubbers, glitter pens, or more expensive items such as paddling pools and board games.

Through the innovative project, the children experience the responsibility of earning their own money and the reward of long-term saving for larger items over the immediate gratification of spending on smaller items.

Claire says: “They know what something is worth in Kirts because it is their world, but they wouldn’t know in pounds. A Kirt is worth 3p but if you’ve worked hard for it, it’s a lot of money.”

The big surprise is the project’s significant impact on standards. Serving a deprived community, Kirton Primary School has a higher-than-average proportion of students with special educational needs, English as an additional language, and those predicted to be low attainers. But the school is now in the top 2% of schools in England for progress in mathematics and writing, and the top 1% for the progress of disadvantaged children. Attendance continues to improve as well.

Claire says: “We developed the school bank originally to stretch and challenge the more able children. We didn’t expect it to be so successful and powerful.”

Why we need financial education in schools

In November 2016, research published by the Money Advice Service (MAS) found that just four in 10 young people aged seven to 17 are receiving financial education at school.

But the same research found that nine in 10 children who had received financial education lessons found them useful.

When young people don’t receive financial education, it can mean that they’re poorly prepared to manage their own money as they approach adulthood. The MAS research among children aged 16 to 17 found 32% didn’t have experience of putting money into a bank account, 39% didn’t have a current account and 59% couldn’t read a payslip.

A 2013 study by the MAS confirmed that adult money habits are set by the age of seven years old, underlining how crucial it is that financial education begins at a young age. Financial education is not yet on the primary curriculum. 

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The' Kirt' at Kirton Primary

The' Kirt' at Kirton Primary is very similar to what another Lincolnshire primary school introduced in 2012. Wrangle Primary is a small rural school with 62 children.
Their reward system and shop is called The GEWP shop, which stands fo' GREAT ELITE WRANGLE POUND'. The children and parents helped to design the bank notes which range from 1 Gewp notes to 20 Gewp notes. In key stage 2 the children also have their own bank accounts.
In much the same way as Kirton the children can earn these by doing well in lessons, spellings, reading and being helpful and polite. The older children help with the shop and bank cards when the shop opens usually about once a month.
The children particularly like saving and spending it on presents for their family and friends at Christmas and birthdays.
The shop and bank at Kirton look amazing so well done Kirton on taking it that step further.
This will be something Wrangle can hopefully achieve in the future. At the moment we run our shop with 2 small wooden market stalls.