Peter Warren, former LSL Administrator
During the Spring and Summer Terms, Inspire (Hackney
Education Business Partnership) organised a series of one-day workshops
at participating schools on financial household management. Each
workshop was delivered to a whole year group of 14-16 year-olds
and aimed to foster their financial literacy and business-related
skills, e.g. teamwork and communication. Students were introduced
to an imaginary Hackney family and, in the course of the day, by
playing the part of one member of the family, they each learned
about accounting and budgeting for one's personal income and expenditure,
how to go about meeting new financial needs or wants, ways of responding
to unforeseen events, good and bad, and making collective, family
Each workshop relied upon "business" volunteers to facilitate
group working by students and to help them achieve the desired outcomes
of the day. Livery Schools Link, through its growing Central Register
of would-be volunteers was able to furnish 18 Livery men and women
from 10 Companies - Actuaries, Air Pilots & Air Navigators,
Barbers, Basketmakers, Chartered Secretaries & Administrators,
Educators, Masons, Mercers, Public Relations Practitioners and Tallow
Chandlers. Each person delivered workshops at one or more of 4 schools
- Cardinal Pole Roman Catholic School, Clapton Girls' Technology
College, Our Lady's Convent High School and Haggerston School for
This is what some of the students said in their evaluations at
the end of the workshops:
- "I learned that money is hard to get and when my mother
gives me money - I should appreciate it more"
- "It's difficult to work out finances. You have to go through
it over and over again, but it's worth it"
- "[I learned] how to manage my money more effectively."
- "I have learnt that teamwork is everything. Everyone must
have views that must be considered and a key asset is good communication,
especially the listening part."
- "It opened my mind in a positive way. It was fun but at
the same time I learnt."
some volunteers this was probably their first time back in a school
classroom since they had left school (up to some 45 years previously!)
and for most it was certainly the first time in a teaching capacity.
Unsurprisingly, the experience was universally described as challenging,
but never without interest and in the great majority of cases considered
rewarding. Here are some of the things the volunteers said:
- "the experience was exhausting but exceptionally rewarding"
- "well-organised day; materials exceeded my expectation"
- "very worthwhile and valuable experience for most of the
students and also for the volunteers"
The educational return - to students and volunteers alike - was
not the only benefit. Each occasion also enabled volunteers to make
contact with Liverymen from other Companies and with volunteers,
of all ages, from commercial organisations in the City, notably
banks and law firms, all having in common a willingness to offer
their services to schools in this kind of way. The consequent rapport
and the excellent briefing provided by Inspire were such that students
expressed their amazement that teams of 2 or 3 volunteers could
deliver the course between them when they had not even met each
other before the day began.
Liveryman Peter Allen of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
offered his services on behalf of the Company in running day-courses
in Islington schools under the banner of "Presenting Yourself
Days" - an initiative of the Islington Education Business Partnership
(EBP) to help 16-year olds with their CVs and interview skills.
He acted as a facilitator.
He writes, "facilitators are given prepared materials and work
alone with a group which numbered between 8-11 students. Many students
are undecided whether to go on to higher education or leave to try
and get jobs. The course is designed to prepare them for either
An Islington School Industry Manager, who prepares the course material,
deals with the logistics and has overall responsibility for the
day, managing the course. The facilitators who run the courses come
from a wide range of organisations including Livery Companies.
The courses, in summary, comprise:
- Students introduce themselves and are encouraged to talk about
their work experience, any part time jobs they have and their
thoughts about the future.
- Students interview the facilitator about their careers and experience.
- A detailed CV exercise, including students writing their own
CVs, which are then discussed and reviewed.
- A detailed exercise on job application-forms, including discussions
on their importance and key areas to include.
- How to look good for interviews.
- Mock interviews conducted by the facilitator with assistance
from one student, whilst others appraise the candidate, followed
by group discussion.
- Each group makes a short presentation to the whole course on
what they learnt, highlighting key items for CVs, application-forms
- Evaluation forms are completed by students and facilitators
on the day.
The students came from a multi-cultural background. They were all
street-wise and positive; their approach was to be challenging but
polite. Understandably they were naive about the difficulties of
getting a job. Peter writes, "My style was to be open and honest
about the realities of getting a job or applying for college. They
seemed to appreciate the candour about what employers and colleges
on average were looking for from their age group. The student appraisal
forms indicated that they enjoyed the day and said it had been interesting.
In my personal view it also brought out of them key personal attributes
which they had never recognised."