“What other life skill is more important than managing money?” This is the question Financial Studies teacher Helen Westwood frequently asks students, parents, adults and fellow teachers. “The school curriculum is already packed but this has surely got to be at the top.”
Helen has been teaching Financial Studies to 14-18 year olds since 2004. “The students feel so much more confident when they leave school - they’re often in a much better position than their parents were, who perhaps had to make mistakes to learn.”
Together with her students, Helen looks at budgeting, managing income and comparing different bank accounts.
Building financial independence
Most of Helen’s students already have a bank account when they start her classes, often with the same bank as their parents. “Even so, students know that they should be prepared to switch providers,” says Helen.
Once you turn 16, some banks allow you to apply for a bank account without the consent of an adult. For example, you can apply for Starling's app-based bank account without an adult, or a visit to a branch.