Recognition for Walthamstow School for Girls pupil casts new light on longstanding concerns for Affinity Financial Advisors
Earlier in January, the East London & West Essex Guardian published a story about Walthamstow School for Girls pupil, Mominah Ramzan, who has been recognised for her work in helping raise awareness for schoolchildren on how to save money.
14-year-old Ramzan is a volunteer for the MyBnk charity, which provides lessons on budgeting and saving in schools all over the UK. She has been credited with helping make the charity’s programmes both relevant and engaging for fellow youngsters and has since spoken at national conference events.
Her endeavours have seen Walthamstow School for Girls recognised as a national ambassador for financial education, with Ramzan herself receiving an award for services to financial education.
As much as this story may constitute a step in the right direction for teaching young people about financial fundamentals, it does bring concerns once raised by financial services specialist Affinity Financial Advisors back into the spotlight: that there is a clear lack of understanding as to the basics of finance among numerous young people, hence, Ramzan has been credited for her own pioneering work in raising awareness in the first place.
Speaking to The Parliamentary Review, Affinity’s trio of directors Steven Groves, Robert Salter and Kim York, said: “A particular concern of ours is the lack of understanding of even the basics of finance among many young people. It is essential nowadays for people to take responsibility for their own financial concerns. Hiding behind a lack of knowledge is simply not an option.”
One solution that the directors proposed is introducing children to finance fundamentals in their formative years.
The directors wrote: “All too soon they [young people] will need to understand about ISAs, pensions and the importance of life cover, critical illness or income protection. I find many don’t even know how to open a bank account or what a cheque is.
“A simple understanding of how to protect cards and PIN numbers, for example, is essential in these days of increasing cyber and financial crime.”
Groves added: “I went so far as to speak to a headteacher, offering to give some free introductory talks to the pupils. My offer was politely declined for a very disappointing reason: it was felt it would be inappropriate for an unknown man to be visiting and talking to the children.”
In light of these concerns, the news of Ramzan and MyBnk making headway in going into schools and teaching youngsters about finance will likely be most welcome. However, there is much for the newly elected government to consider in terms of how to consolidate this progress. Incumbent education secretary Gavin Williamson could do worse than explore the prospect of integrating finance fundamentals into the curriculum for Britain's children, but whether such considerations come to be aired in the Commons remains to be seen.