Students across the country are about to get excited about money, writes Russell Winnard, head of educator facing programme and services at Young Enterprise.
My Money Week will run from 12th to 18th June and will see hundreds of thousands of young people across the country develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money well.
At Young Enterprise we know students are fascinated by money and they really want to learn how to manage it and make it work for them. Every year our team of financial education experts produce creative, engaging and free resources for teachers to use during My Money Week. This year students will be digesting the My Money Weekly – a special financial education newspaper with supplements full of financial articles, activities, quizzes and even a problem page.
Students will also be invited to show off their musical talent by entering the My Money Week competition. They will get creative by producing money melodies, songs, raps or jingles to be judged over the summer, with winners announced in September.
My Money Week has been successful for the last 8 years because it makes delivering financial education easy for teachers and fun and engaging for students. However, we are tackling a serious issue. Financial capability is an essential life skill and a lack of financial education can affect nearly every aspect of a young person’s life, from their mental wellbeing to their performance at work and even their personal health.
I’m extremely proud of My Money Week, and all of Young Enterprise’s financial education work, supporting teachers and schools to plan and deliver high quality financial education – even so, there are still significant challenges. Despite financial education being added to the secondary school national curriculum in 2014, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People found only 40% of secondary schools are currently delivering it. This has to change.
The same APPG survey highlights that 58% of all teachers want training on how to teach financial education. It is clear that teachers appreciate the importance of providing a financial education for their students, and Young Enterprise, alongside a number of other organisations, is working hard to support them to do this. Since 2000 we have trained in excess of 25,000 teachers, and will continue to provide a wide range of support, guidance and tools to enable teachers to build a sustainable programme of financial education into their school curriculum.
My Money Week reaches hundreds of thousands of students, and is a great way for schools to get involved in financial education for the first time, or supplement their existing provision, but if we really want the next generation to be better equipped to manage their money and succeed financially we need more schools to use initiatives, like My Money Week, as a driver to create sustainable financial education provision for all their young people.
Financial education needs to be embraced and embedded into school curriculums, both at a primary and secondary level, teachers need to receive high quality training and support, and school leaders and politicians must buy into the importance of financial education. Only then can we ensure that all young people are better prepared for their financial future.
If you’d like to get involved in my money week you can download our resources here and tweet using #mymoneyweek.