Key Pfeg tips

23rd April 2004 at 01:00
"Approach financial education in an explorative rather than prescriptive manner," says Claire Barr. "Teachers are not there to impose their middle-class perspective on students. That said, such work often involves students having to make a 'reality check' in terms of their aspirations."

Good practice can involve teachers sharing their financial life experiences with students.

One example highlighted in the Brunel report involved a tutor illustrating the benefits of switching her borrowings to cover a pound;2,000 gearbox disaster, from an expensive credit card debt to a cheaper bank loan and then an even cheaper re-mortgage. Avoid "content-led" instruction, with young people on the end of lecture-style instruction from outside speakers.

"You have to start with pupils' experiences of money and build from there," explains Pfeg adviser Richard Kwiatkowski.

Build students' knowledge of the terms and jargon associated with personal finance in fun ways. At ADT college in west London, curriculum manager Gillian Joyce took on the Anne Robinson role in a money-skills related version of The Weakest Link. "It was an effective way of building up students' basic knowledge ahead of sessions with bank and pensions specialists." Do not neglect cultural diversity when tackling the subject.

"Cultural diversity embraces far more than the special models of saving and investment associated with Caribbean or Muslim communities," says Pfeg adviser Annie Noble. "It should also cover the wide economic, and social variations between people. Most students are likely to end up working in areas with highly mixed populations and need to understand the variety of financial attitudes they may encounter."

* Good practice guides

A series of good practice guides and resource reports can be found at: www.pfeg.org

* Seminar programme

Pfeg's regional seminars provide an overview of the Excellence and Access initiative and offer workshops in which delegates can explore examples of good practice with teachers and advisers from local schools. Remaining dates are: April 28, Newcastle Upon Tyne; May 19, Wolverhampton; May 26, London.

Tel: Pfeg, 020 7833 2184

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