We salute the hard-working educators whose enthusiasm and innovative methods have got their students excited about personal finance and money management
The winning primary and secondary school teachers of Moneywise’s Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards have been revealed, while another inspirational teacher has been recognised for her efforts in teaching children with learning difficulties about money.
The winning primary school teacher, Joy Ingram of Arkholme Church of England School in Arkholme, Lancashire, and the winning secondary school teacher, Ceri Diffley of Dane Court Grammar School in Broadstairs, Kent, each win £3,250 to spend on school equipment.
Ana Rocha from Castle School, a special educational needs school in Cambridge, wins £1,500 in the special Judges’ Award.
Two runners-up in each of the primary and secondary categories also win £1,500 to spend on their schools.
“These teachers go the extra mile”
Teachers entered the competition directly or else were nominated by parents, students or colleagues. After an initial round of judging by the Moneywise editorial team, shortlisted teachers were put to a panel of judges including Julian Knight MP, Jeff Prestridge, personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday, Russell Winnard, head of educator-facing services and programmes at the charity Young Enterprise, and representatives from the competition sponsor, asset manager F&C.
Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance at Interactive Investor (Moneywise’s parent company) and former editor of Moneywise, chaired the judging. She says: “Moneywise believes that it’s vital children learn about money and how to manage it. However, with personal finance education remaining on the periphery of the national curriculum, provision is often patchy and makeshift.
“With a good grounding in personal finance, young adults are more likely to be able to budget and understand the importance of saving and will be less likely to get into debt as a result. The Moneywise Personal Finance Teacher of the Year competition recognises the contribution of the schools and the teachers that understand the value of this real-life education and are going the extra mile to give their pupils what they need.”
“Personal finance teaching is vital to our country”
Julian Knight MP
Commenting on our winners, Julian Knight, MP for Solihull and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, says: “The standard of all the entries was exceptional, but what marked out the winners and runners-up was the sheer sense of fun and relevance to the pupils’ lives they had managed to instil.”
He adds: “It is vital to our prospects as a country that we continue to see the growth in personal finance teaching in schools, and all those who took part in this year’s Moneywise awards deserve our praise.”
Winner: Joy Ingram, head teacher, Arkholme Church of England School, Arkholme, Lancashire
From teaching reception children about pets and the cost of owning them through to debates for Key Stage 2 children (age seven to 11) on the iPhone 8 and the best ways to spend birthday money, our judges were impressed by Joy’s efforts to ensure financial education is integrated into the children’s learning throughout their school journey.
Mr Prestridge says: “This is traditional personal finance education par excellence. I loved some of her initiatives – coins and their use in everyday purchasing and why we save. The great pet sale was a super idea. This is a teacher who with few resources delivers great money education – passionate and caring.”
“With few resources, Joy Ingram delivers”
Runner-up: Tom Raffield, St David’s School, Purley, London
Young Enterprise’s Russell Winnard says: “Tom’s lessons were very engaging.” The judges enjoyed reading about the micro-societies his Year 6 pupils build and his Dragon’s Den-style enterprise projects.
“Tom Raffield’s lessons were very engaging”
Runner-up: Sarah Manley, Snowsfields and Tower Bridge Primary Schools, London
Sarah was praised for building relationships with businesses in the “real world” to bring classroom learning to life. “I liked everything I saw from Sarah. Here is someone who has invested a lot of time,” says Mr Prestridge.
Winner: Ceri Diffley, Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs, Kent
Our judges praised the breadth of subject areas covered by Ceri in her lessons and her ability to make those issues seem real, not to mention her enthusiasm.
Mr Prestridge says: “I loved her willingness to go the extra mile with her students – organising trips to Canary Wharf, the City’s financial heartbeat. I also liked the tasks she set her students – whether Fred should have a credit card and whether Elizabeth and Richard should remortgage.”
Ceri was nominated by two students. One says: “Ms Diffley is the most generous teacher and is never off duty for questions. She also put our Year 13 and Year 12 finance class forward for an interview with Radio 4’s Money Box, which was aired and was exciting and new for us students. This is just a demonstration of how Ms Diffley pushes us to our full potential.”
Runner-up: Chrissy Humphrys, The Green School, Isleworth, Middlesex
The judges particularly liked how Chrissy made personal finance real for her students by getting them to engage with their own spending habits and they praised her lesson plan on choosing and paying for a new flat. Chrissy was also a runner-up in last year’s competition.
Runner-up: Jennifer Whelan, St James’ Catholic High School, Colindale, London
The judges praised Jennifer’s limitless enthusiasm and passion for teaching her students about money, as well as her commitment to improving her own financial knowledge.
Winner: Ana Rocha, The Castle School, Cambridge
Representing a special educational needs school for children aged three to 19, our judges agreed Ana’s entry was worthy of an additional award.
Ana’s approach is practical, fun and gets her students out into their community. Children organise picnics and other events for the school and get involved with enterprise initiatives. “Her entry blew my mind,” says Mr Prestridge. “It was original and inspiring. She demonstrated how money issues can be taught in an imaginative way – £1 meals, selling tea towels and boot planters. It’s a special entry, and a quality one.”
The standard of teaching was very high this year and the Moneywise team felt there were two entries that, while they didn’t make the prize list, were worthy of special recognition.
Bethany Alexander, Threshfield Primary School, Threshfield, North Yorkshire
We were particularly impressed by the entry from Bethany, nominated by a parent. She launched and runs the school’s popular Enterprise Club to encourage children to think and learn about money. One of its initiatives this year has been to team up with a local business owner to run a fruit and veg stall in the school.
Gary Edwards, personal finance trainer, Birmingham
Gary is not a teacher but a trainer who runs personal finance education sessions at schools in the Birmingham area. We loved his approach to ‘Keep on squirrelling’, with Keepsy the squirrel teaching primary school children the value of saving.