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Flowering for money matters

Author, businesswoman, teacher and psychologist Christine Thompson-Wells considers herself ideally placed to discuss the management of money in an educational context, writes Carolyn O'Grady.

Trained as a florist in England, Christine set up her own business and ran a school for florists in Australia. She was the florist to Australia's former prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, and wrote on the subject for an international magazine.

During this time she saw the effects of both boom and bust on her business and personal life. Later she spent 12 years at university studying and researching psychology and developing an interest in the management of money.

On returning to England, Christine became head of psychology at Reading Girls School, but intends to leave soon to concentrate on her two companies, one of which, Business Books International, will publish educational literature on money matters.

"I want to get across to children how to work with money," she says. "We are moving very quickly into a cashless society. Soon people won't be working with pennies and other coins, and it's harder to feel and retain ownership of money. It will make some people very wealthy and keep some very poor. This is why I feel that education on money matters is very important."

Titles already available include Rupins from Heaven for key stages 1 and 2, and Money Management for Students - A Handbook for key stages 3 and 4.

The first teaches children about micro-and macro-economics through an illustrated tale of two boys abducted by space people who avert war through a discussion of their own planet's monetary system, while thesecond tells older children howto stay in control of their money by saving cash and avoiding unnecessary debt.

The latter includes a short case study about Will Smith, the pop star and actor who pulled himself back from financial collapse.

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