Since winning Moneywise’s Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Competition last year, Claire Fovargue’s innovative methods of teaching children about money have appeared on the BBC national news, as well as BBC One’s Inside Out and Newsround.
The national press picked up our award winner too with articles appearing in the Mail on Sunday and The Mirror.
Ms Fovargue, assistant head of Kirton Primary School, in Boston, Lincolnshire, has given up her own time to open and run a school bank and shop to help pupils start learning the basics of money management.
Every child in the school aged from five to 11 is given a ‘bank account’ and the opportunity to earn ‘Kirts’, the school’s unit of currency. Worth 3p each, Kirts are paid to children for a variety of achievements from full marks in a spelling or times table test to representing the school in music or sport, as well as full attendance for a term.
Children can save their money in the bank - earning an excellent interest rate of 10% each term - or spend it in the school shop, which sells a range of cheaper novelty items for those who want to spend their Kirts straightaway, as well as more expensive items such as paddling pools and board games for those who like to save.
Using the prize money the school was awarded, Ms Fovargue has been able to expand the school high street with a market stall and post office and restaurant façade.
But perhaps most notable is the fact that the school’s achievements have been recognised by other teachers across the country. Ms Fovargue was inundated with requests to find out more about the school bank and shop that they are now running an open day in June to help other schools learn more about the scheme and how it is benefiting children.
Chrissy Humphrys, from secondary school The Green School in Isleworth, was a runner-up in this year’s competition. She has spent the money on a range of initiatives including workshops from MyBnk for children in year 8 and year 12. Maths A-Level students were able to attend a maths workshop in London as well as paying the Happy Puzzle Company to lead ‘brain buster’ activities at a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) event in March.
Enter Moneywise's Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards
Currently, financial education only comes on to the national curriculum once children start secondary school and, even then, provision may be ad hoc or sporadic.
However, as all the entries to last year’s competition prove, there are schools and teachers across the UK that are recognising the importance of teaching children about money at an early age and giving them the skills to better manage their finances when they leave home.
If your children are enjoying learning about money at school, it’s not too late to nominate their teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you are a teacher giving lessons in financial education at primary or secondary school level, you can download an application form and apply direct.
The deadline for entries is 30 April – and this year the prizemoney is much greater at £12,500, with separate awards to teachers at primary and secondary school level, and the cash split between the winners and runners-up in several categories.