Financial Education Partnership
Our Financial Education Partnership (FEP) offers workshops in financial capability and a range of employment skills to schools and colleges across Scotland. It aims to benefit both teachers and students – allowing teachers to meet financial education objectives laid out by the Scottish Executive, and developing the real life skills of students in preparation for their adult life.
FEP is delivered by a team of dedicated volunteers and is free to schools. It is funded by:
The careers and work skills elements are also funded and supported by the following:
Since it was launched in 1998, the number of workshops has increased year on year, with around 800 now being delivered annually.
Eight different workshops are offered:
Careers and work skills:
For a copy of our workshop brochure, please click here.
For a school request form, please click here.
Directions is a free online guide that provides an insight into careers in finance, accountancy and financial services. A one stop shop of careers information, head to Directions to access work placement and career opportunities. Visit Directions now to start planning your career in finance, accountancy and financial services: http://www.directions.org.uk
European Financial Education Partnership
The European Financial Education Partnership (EFEP) was a two year European Commission funded project (October 2010 to September 2012) that sought to transfer the model of the UK’s ‘Financial Education Partnership’ - supporting secondary schools and teachers through the delivery of interactive, financial education workshops using a volunteer network of financial services practitioners, teachers and other stakeholders. The project tested whether this model could be successfully adapted to meet the needs of target groups in Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain, with an emphasis on reaching the socially excluded in Germany, taking into account national and regional linguistic, cultural and other differences. A key feature of the project was the production of a ‘Development and Sustainability Plan’, setting out recommendations to European and national policy makers and financial education stakeholders for the future development of similar public/private financial education networks.
The project involved a number of key steps from an initial ‘needs and gaps’ analysis to the development of classroom and train-the-trainer materials, establishment of stakeholder networks, piloting of workshops and evaluation and dissemination of results. Key stakeholders were engaged throughout the project - including teachers, school managers, education providers and policymakers, students, financial services organisations and employees and parents. In addition European and national awareness-raising sessions were held, reaching an immediate audience of over 500 participants in ten countries; in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the U.K.
The first major output of the project was the ‘needs and gaps’ analysis of financial education provision at secondary schools within the five, main partner countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the U.K.) including an identification of priority topics and the most effective delivery mechanisms. Based on the results from a number of stakeholder interviews, focus groups and 464 questionnaires (199 from schools, 141 from parents and 124 from financial sector experts) the analysis also assessed the need for different and / or additional specialist materials and forms of delivery and likely adaptability, subject to localization, of the U.K. FEP model. A synthesis of findings enabled a cross-border identification and analysis of key gaps in financial education provision in schools and guided the appropriate follow-up activities for partners. The findings of the reports provided the basis for material creation and methods for stakeholder engagement in partner countries.
The subsequent piloting of workshop materials (to evaluate the effectiveness of the delivery model; relevance, content, flexibility and ease of use of the materials and the impact of participation on students, teachers and volunteers) was based on the results of 3836 student, 152 teacher and 177 volunteer questionnaires; stakeholder and participant discussions, group meetings, interviews and videos – collected over nine months.
The project concluded that using volunteer, finance and other professionals to deliver financial education workshops in schools is an effective delivery model with demonstrative positive impact on direct beneficiaries, with a high demand and capacity for its services.
A main finding from the pilot showed that, although there is a clear need for teaching staff with experience in teaching financial education, external support from experts and a joined-up approach with the industry is essential. Financial education is also best delivered as a combination of one-off lessons/events whilst being integrated into a regular range of lessons across the school curriculum. The EFEP evaluation showed that teachers and students rate the assistance of an external expert highly; with 100% of teachers and 93% of students stating that they found it worthwhile having an external expert / finance professional delivering the session. In addition, the volunteer ‘experts’ were rated highly in a number of categories, with over 80%, and in the majority of cases, over 90%, saying that they felt the volunteer had been knowledgeable, easy to understand, interesting, answered questions well and represented the industry well.
Some key findings from the project include:
Lessons learnt include that it can be difficult to gain access to the school timetable and that there is a need for national awareness-raising campaigns to promote the importance of financial education beginning at school, coupled with teacher buy-in, recognition, resource, support and training. In addition, management buy-in from financial organisations and employers that support the scheme is essential for enabling the participation of volunteers.
It was established in all of the countries reviewed, that delivery of financial education is rather piecemeal, fragmented and not fully efficient. School curriculum time constraints; a short supply of experienced teachers; outdated and unattractive educational material and difficulties in making adequate use of external advice and help are shown to be the main inhibitors. Results indicated that the support needed for teaching financial education in schools were “partnership working”; “external experts and support”; “additional funding”; “lesson plans/examples of best practices”; “more advice for integrating financial education in the existing curriculum”; “more training of staff” and “interactive resources”.
Main findings in regard to the design of the classroom materials include that they should be flexible – easy to adapt to the volunteer’s own personal style and student age / academic ability; easy to use - with no previous knowledge of the subject matter required; contain simple content and concepts; be interactive; be relevant to current and future needs; based around real-life events and scenarios; with a utilization of I.C.T. and web-based materials.
The ultimate aim of the EFEP project was to define a European model and standard for the delivery of financial education in schools, with support from the financial services industry, that could ultimately be adopted on a pan-European basis. It is intended that more secondary school children are reached after the project ends through the continued operation and expansion of the volunteer school delivery networks that were created during the life-time of the project and through the active encouragement of further Member States to adopt the model.
There has already been considerable interest expressed from stakeholders and beneficiaries in participant counties to extend the EFEP project activities, along with considerable interest from dissemination partners and other countries in adopting the EFEP programme, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. To find out more about immediate projected and concrete outcomes to come from the project, please see:
Development & Sustainability Plan
Final Report to the European Commission
Needs & Gaps Analysis – Financial Education Provision in Scottish Schools
Needs & Gaps Analysis – Synthesis of European results
Results from the Workshop Pilot Evaluation in Scotland
For more information please see the project website: www.efep-project.eu
European Commission Project Number: 510053-LLP-1-2010-1-LU-COMENIUS-CMP