Interactive Investor

Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards 2021: winners announced

8th December 2021 09:49

by Jemma Jackson from interactive investor

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interactive investor reveals the UK’s best personal finance teachers.

Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Award 2021
  • Interviews with winners available on request
  • The winning teachers have each won £5,000 for their schools; £3,000 for runners-up and £2,500 for highly commended teachers.

interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest DIY investment platform, is proud to announce the winners of the interactive investor Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards2021 at a time when the cost-of-living crisis has brought the importance of financial literacy into sharp focus.

The competition was set up to recognise teachers across the key stages who have actively sought to instil good financial know-how among their pupils, awarding cash prizes to winning schools to help fund their efforts.

This year, there are cash prizes for seven schools. For the best secondary teachers teaching personal finance, there was a winner, a runner-up and two highly commended prizes. For the best primary school teacher, there was one winner.

ii has added a new ‘Ambassador’ award to recognise teachers who create and provide resources on financial education for teachers to adapt and use in their classrooms. For this category there was a winner and runner-up.

The winning teachers and ambassador each receive £5,000 for their schools, while the schools of the runners-up receive £3,000, and the highly commended teachers, £2,500.

The judges were: Guy Rigden, Chief Executive of charity MyBnk; Dominic Vallier, Head of Financial Education Relationship Managers, London Institute of Banking and Finance; Russell Winnard, Director of Programmes and Services, Young Enterprise; Jeff Prestridge; Personal Finance Editor, Mail on Sunday; Claer Barrett, Consumer Editor, Financial Times;Richard Wilson, CEO, interactive investor and Moira O’Neill, Head of Personal Finance, interactive investor.

Richard Wilson, CEO of interactive investor, says: “We have much admiration for teachers, whose hard work and inspiration makes a difference every single day.

“This year’s winners have raised the bar on previous years’ entries, having delivered the highest-quality financial education we have seen. We’re delighted to see how they inspire children to learn about money with such fun and engaging lessons. And we were impressed by the dedication of those teachers who were championing the financial education mission not only in their own schools but in other schools in their areas.

“Financial education from a young age is so important – to help forge a healthy relationship with money from the beginning. Congratulations to all our winners.”

Personal Finance Teacher of the Year

Winner (primary school)

Nick Redfern, Powers Hall Academy, Witham, Essex

Initially trained as a teacher, Nick spent over 25 years working as an investment banker before returning to education initially in secondary school but later went into primary education with a desire to foster financial awareness among younger schoolchildren.

The judges like that Nick considered the high number of pupils from working-class families to deliver a valuable and important financial lesson on debt. He explored the dangers of debt, pay-day lending and taught pupils the basic of interest rates. He also used Wonga as a case study to help pupils understand and analyse advertising techniques used by such companies.

Winner (secondary school)

Nicola Butler, Ysgol Eirias (Eirias School in English), Colwyn Bay, Wales

Nicola has leveraged her background in financial services to deliver lessons that explore and challenge attitudes on money matters. The judges were particularly impressed by her money personality quiz which they felt introduce key financial concepts on a practical level by exploring scenarios that pupils are likely to encounter.

The judges also praised the use of school trips to foster better engagement among pupils. As well as trips to the local banks, Nicola notably arranged a trip for sixth form female pupils to the annual Women Mean Business Conference.

Runner-up (secondary)

Jonathan Shields – Harrow School Online, a fully online global sixth form

Jonathan teaches personal finance to pupils aged 16-18 on an online basis only. The judges commended his share trading game used to teach students how trading works and how demand and supply determines share prices. They admired his attempt to push his children to higher attainment by adapting lessons taking by prospective financial advisers.

Highly commended (secondary)

Nina Dela Fuente, Westlands School, Sittingbourne, Kent

The judges felt that Nina, who is head of financial studies at Westland School, challenges her pupils’ perceptions on key financial topics and bolsters engagement through use of videos. Her submission, which explored the implications of personal debt, was commended by the judges for challenging attitudes towards debt as well as exploring approaches among different societies and cultures.

Marie O’Riordan, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, Stoke-on-Trent

The judges thought Marie’s lesson plan on how car insurance works offers useful insights to pupils – many of whom are at the age where they can learn how to drive. This lesson is interactive as it is delivered in the style of “Play Your Cards Right”, where pupils have a scenario and they guess if the insurance is higher or lower based on factors such as age, driving experience, no claims bonus’ and penalty points. Other lessons included cashflow and budgeting.

Winner of Ambassador award

The judges agreed to create a new ‘Ambassador’, award to recognise those who create and offer financial education resources for teachers to use.

Danny Topping, The Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool

A business and finance tutor by trade, Danny has developed courses on financial education aimed at providing teachers with a set of high-quality resources that require minimal planning while bringing the subject to life for their students.

His attempts to ‘jazz up’ existing courses on financial education led him to create more task focussed lessons for his students in 2018. He later made them available for purchase after receiving enquiries from teachers.

Danny says his resources have been acquired by over 50 schools and colleges around the UK.

Runner-up Ambassador award

Barry Rodgers - South Dartmoor Community College, Ashburton, Newton Abbot

Barry joined South Dartmoor Community College at the start of the pandemic and has already made a significant contribution to the teaching of personal finance at the school. Barry, who is the Head of Business Education, is evangelical regarding the importance of personal finance education in schools, embedding personal finance into the curriculum in his previous two schools.  He impressed the judges by putting on an additional class on financial education, his extra-curricular projects and with his ambition to launch a business and finance centre of excellence.

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