5th August 2016 at 01:00

Well done Martin Lewis for raising (again) the need for financial education in schools (“Teach children about cash, says money-saving expert”, Insight, 29 July). But it’s not just senior schools that need to do this for maths and citizenship lessons.

Barnabas in Schools has produced free cross-curricular resources for primary schools, too – including for religious education lessons (bit.ly/WhatsMoneyWorth). As Lewis says, “Money worries are one of the greatest contributors…to unhappiness.” And RE is all about finding and evaluating alternative ways of living the good life without needing a credit reference.

Chris Hudson

Barnabas in Schools team

As a retired secondary maths teacher volunteering in my local primary school, I agree totally with teaching about cash but I feel we also need to teach about the mathematics and language of advertising.

I remember spending a lesson with some Year 6 students post-Sats talking about rates of interest for repaying debt. I talked about television adverts and one pupil expressed concern about how the words at the bottom of the screen were often blurred and unreadable. That pupil changed my attitude from one of avoiding adverts – and reading my newspaper during breaks in programmes – to one of watching adverts with the sound off to see what wasn’t being said but rather written in the small print.

I grew up with initially just the BBC on TV – hence, no advertising. Now we have hundreds, if not thousands, of commercial channels and I feel that young people have the right to learn more about the potential effects of advertising.

Mike Rath

Barnstaple, Devon

A man of letters

One of the first pages I turn to in TES is the Feedback page. One of your regular correspondents is Mike Rath of Barnstaple, Devon. I’m particularly interested in what he has to say because he was my maths teacher and form tutor at Edgecliff Comprehensive in Staffordshire in the 1970s.

How fortunate the children in his local primary school are to have him teach as a volunteer. I found Mike challenging in many ways, mostly positive, and a fantastic role model. I had glandular fever shortly before taking my A levels and he, along with a French teacher, came to my home to give me extra tuition before I took the exams.

I look forward to reading more of his correspondence in the future! Keep up the good work, TES, keeping us informed and supported as teachers.

Ruth Sabbagh

Primary school supply teacher

Teach First second thoughts

Whatever its merits (and there are some), Teach First invites the quip: “Teach First, live second, die later.” It shouldn’t be that way (“Teach First changes lives beyond the classroom”, Whispers from Westminster, 29 July).

Colin Richards


Can you please keep a secret?

I know it was the end of a long year, but I think Steve Cleave missed the joke (“Giving anonymity a bad name, Feedback, 22 July). Please do not reveal the true identity of the Secret CEO and keep his or her (how many female CEOs are there?) column in TES. I like the insight and I think his ideas are spot on. Especially if he is my CEO.

Matt Bakewell


Facebook users on “Bringing your TA game” bit.ly/TeachingAssts

“Love being a TA but wish we had a pay structure [beyond] getting just cost of living every year. Would not change my job for the world. Feel appreciated by the school and all the teachers.”


“I was a TA but had to leave as I could not make ends meet. And I was very concerned that I was being asked to take classes for the kids who struggled.”


“I think all teachers should have to be a TA first. You learn so much and also learn how to work as a team.”


“Could not do my job without my TAs – incredibly hardworking and always going above and beyond.”


And on teaching children about cash bit.ly/TeachCash

“If you’re interested in money, chances are you are not a teacher. Money is a rumour in teaching.”


“Teachers can’t teach everything. Surely it’s parents responsibility to teach their children the value of money!”


From the TES Community forums

Ministers show contempt for the teaching profession


Almost every time the government reviews the curriculum or assessment, they blame us. Problems in society, blame schools. Most of us want to do the best job we can. We turn up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to be treated like faulty commodities.


Professional liars politicians only claim to respect teachers in the immediate run-up to a general election. And just what did happen to Tricky Morgan’s deep concern for teacher workload?


Schools must follow simple rules to crack social mobility


[Alan Milburn] said it’s a disgrace all schools can’t do it when some can. Where’s this “some”? I doubt they exist. But if they do, how’s about this for an idea. Tell us who they are and what they do that’s different, instead of just criticising.


I’ve got an idea. Why don’t schools teach pupils and – as it’s so easy – why doesn’t the government deal with social mobility? Education is education: you can’t blame us for everything!


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