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I am a geography teacher responsible for all of the Enterprise education at school, and like most teachers with extra responsibilities, have little time in which to deliver this. From the moment I contacted WizeUp I felt totally at ease, Ed listened to my requirements and immediately responded with a variety of options and suggestions to suit. Wizeup products and services can be an extremely useful off the shelf option but what makes them stand out is their flexibility, willingness and ability to accommodate individual school’s requirements.
When I initially spoke to Ed 3 years ago about WizeUp participating in a new Enterprise education day about the world of work for our year 11 students, he not only agreed to help facilitate the day, but offered to deliver whatever type of workshop we wanted – that’s flexibility!
The overall aim of WOW is to better equip our students to be more competitive and influential in the increasingly global world of work. More specifically, it is to give our students an insight into the skills and attitudes required for the world of work and to give them the opportunity to practise, develop and demonstrate these in a familiar environment BUT with unknown professionals. All students attend in business dress and participate in a number of employability skills workshops as well as a mock interview with an external professional who gives invaluable personal verbal and written feedback to each student. WizeUp supports us all day in delivering not only an interviewing skills workshop but then a financial skills workshop.
Delivering a day such as this to a whole year group of 210 students is no mean feat and Ed Flack / WizeUp is key to not only informing and inspiring our students but enabling myself as the organiser to focus on the inevitable “on the day” small issues rather than worrying about what is happening in the classroom!
“My experience of dealing with WizeUp was exemplary. From an initial enquiry to the delivery of the session to the students the levels of communication were excellent and Ed was very accommodating about putting together a session in response the specific topics requested by our students. The talk on the day was interactive and highly informative and I am sure that the students will make use of the wide-range of information and support that Wizeup offer as a follow-up to the talk. I shall definitely be asking Ed back to speak to the students next year.”
Mary-Clare Startin, Deputy Head, Sixth Form
"Many thanks to the WizeUp team for the informative workshops given to our Year 12 students during their Activity Week. You answered their questions in a language they could understand and I am confident they and their parents will make use of the after service you offer. We will be inviting you back next year!"
Stephanie Rogers, Head of Year 12
"The WizeUp workshops on CV Writing and Interviews offered an invaluable contribution to our sixth-form PHSE and career advice programme. The workshops were well-structured and paced and were presented in a comprehensive and well-illustrated way. This allowed students to see an instant improvement on their CV writing and interview skills. All students were given free access to the WizeUp website to look at further resources and consolidate the material presented during the workshops. Our students’ feedback was very positive and no doubt we will be utilising WizeUp’s services in the future."
Aris Rogkotis - Director of Studies
““The students had a truly fabulous day. They all learnt that you have to earn money before you can take it out and for most of them this was the first time they had ever used a cash card at an ATM or learnt how to open a building society account.
They were all thoroughly engaged and motivated throughout the day.
I hope this can be something that we do every year.”
Jo Linwood - Senior Life Skills Teacher
"Thank you for coming to speak to the girls yesterday. The feedback from both girls and staff has been really positive. Apparently the girls were doing their budgets in the common room later on yesterday and comments such as 'It's really depressing: I spend £300 and only have £100 coming in each month' and 'I spend so much money in Starbucks' were heard to be made! I will reiterate the use of the website to them."
Katie Banks - Assistant Head of Sixth Form
“I thought it was extremely useful as it gave me a much clearer understanding of many aspects of student finance. I found it surprisingly interesting, considering the amount of information that was covered. I thought it provided some very useful Life Skills that, I am confident, will prove to be important in the future. Glad to have had it.”
Sixth Form Student
“Ed’s expertise in the subject and knowledge about the current intricacies of Student Finance is invaluable to our students. They really respect and appreciate a specialist coming in to talk to them, and he is able to engage our students with his charismatic presentation style. We have received very positive feedback from all our parents and students, and look forward to him visiting us again next year.”
Rachel Golding, Head of Sixth Form
"Thank you ever so much for your time, the students always comment on how much they get out of your sessions as its information they don’t get elsewhere. Funnily enough its always the session that ex-students comment on the most as well as they get out into the “real world” and discover the joy of tax etc and can put into action some of the things they gain from your input.
We look forward to seeing you again soon."
Michael Betteridge - 6th form adviser
Thank you for coming. You managed to turn the complexity of student finance in to a gripping delivery that had them laughing and sitting on the edge of their seats. You simplified it beautifully and whilst they may not remember everything you said, at least they know where they can find help on your website. You are very welcome to return to talk to our Lower Sixth next year.
Alison Grant - Second Deputy Head
"Just a little feedback on your excellent sessions. The pupils have expressed that your sessions were the most beneficial ones of the whole three weeks, I am so pleased!"
Caron Beary - PSHE Co-ordinator
“The Banking and Budgeting workshops were essential for our students and were delivered in a dynamic and memorable way. The students loved the business-style layout of the room and the mature, professional approach - it felt like a business seminar, not a lesson. Ed is a no-nonsense facilitator with high expectations and he treated the students like adults. I would recommend WizeUp to any Upper School classes.”
Heather Wilson - Head of PSHE
“WizeUp provides the missing link so sadly lacking in the curriculum for a raft of essential skills from personal finance to getting organised for job interviews. Their pragmatic and inclusive approach supported by a range of materials was absolutely essential and I will be booking them again.”
Paul Jones - Head of Sixth Form
"This is to formally express our thanks for the excellent work which you and Mike Spooner did with our students yesterday. You managed to engage their interest very quickly and covered a lot of very valuable material. You helped them clarify their thinking and will have enabled them to make much more informed choices about their future. The students were still buzzing with excitement this morning and everybody we asked told us how useful the presentations and discussions had been.
You were also able to explain the complexities of student finance to a large audience of parents who also commented how helpful it was. I very much hope that we will be able to work together again in the future.
Maria Bates - Assistant Headteacher
Thank you so much for your time yesterday. The content was incredibly insightful and your knowledge and expertise really helped the students gain a greater understating. I learnt a lot too!
I have now had the opportunity to share your pdf resources with students and their parents/carers. They have been very well received and feedback has been positive.
Thank you again for your time. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to book again next year.
Chris Buller - Head of Sixth Form
"All was very positive - the only criticism was that the second part re NI and tax was too rushed - although I appreciate that you were doing your best to give us value for money by covering two topics during the session. As I said at the time, your approach was excellent - you struck just the right note with our boys, so they were engaged: they liked the practical interview starter, it really grabbed their attention."
Caroline Fooks - Head of PHSE
"I thoroughly recommend the financial management sessions delivered by 'WizeUp'. Our sixth formers found the talks to be really informative and interesting, and they came to realise how much they had been in the dark on issues such as student loans, budgeting and credit cards. The organisation is extremely professional and the resources students are given access to are well pitched and relevant to enable them to make informed judgements about issues that will affect them at university and beyond. Thank you to Ed for all you did to make the day a stress-free success!"
Dawn Williams - Head of English
“School leavers today face complex financial issues, especially when they leave home for university or begin employment. Ed’s knowledge and enthusiasm gives them an opportunity to get prepared for life after Sixth Form. We are very grateful to Penrith Building Society whose financial support allows the yearly event to occur. The students were enthusiastic to have the opportunity to quiz an expert and gain practical knowledge that will help them for life.”
Sessions were tailored to meet Year 12’s varied aspirations whether that be: University, employment, apprenticeship or a gap year. Workshops focused on the financial implications of studying for a degree, what to look out for when opening a student bank account and knowledge about financial aspects of renting property or sharing a flat. Other sessions covered taxation, credit ratings as well as pay day loans and practical tips on how to start saving and investing for the future.
Rob Jackson Head of Sixth Form
“Mr Flack has an impressive wealth of knowledge on the financial issues that we as teenagers face. I learnt a lot about how to deal with financial problems and about the dangers and benefits of having a credit card at my age. I think I am now more aware of the consequences of debt and the ways to prevent falling into financial difficulties. As students' we are really grateful to Penrith Building Society for sponsoring this informative day at UCC.”
Tilly Bird - Ullswater Sixth Form Student
“The students were really engaged and got a huge amount from the workshops.”
Paul Tighe - Head of Academy Education
Dorothy Goodman School pupils opened a savings account and used a cash machine – many for the first time – during a day of financial education sponsored by Hinckley and Rugby Building Society.
Ed Flack, a financial education expert from the not-for-profit WizeUp group, worked with 20 pupils aged from 14 to 19, firstly at the Hinckley school for children with learning disabilities and then at the society’s Castle Street branch.
Ed said: “We began the day by looking at ways we could get money, deciding that working for it was infinitely better than borrowing.
“I then set the students a task to work on for me, folding leaflets.
“They had 40 each and if they completed them all they could earn £10.
“Everyone worked really well and to a very high standard.
“Once they had been paid they were able to buy a variety of goods but were encouraged to save some of the money in order to open a savings account with Hinckley & Rugby. We walked into town where the students had a chance to use a cash point machine, many of them for the first time.
“After drawing £10 each from the hole in the wall they added this to their morning’s savings and moved across the road to the society’s branch where they opened their accounts and made their first deposits.
“To mark the occasion every student was presented with their own HRBS goody bag to take away.”
Dorothy Goodman School senior life skills teacher Joanne Linwood said: “The students had a truly fabulous day.
“They all learnt that you have to earn money before you can take it out and for most of them this was the first time they had ever used a cash card at an ATM or learnt how to open a building society account.
“They were all thoroughly engaged and motivated throughout the day.
“I hope this can be something that we do every year.”
Ed said: “It was a fantastic day and the students were really up for it.
“They were really engaged and enthusiastic and some went over and above the scheduled workload in order to complete a ‘mind map’ on bills and other expenses.
“Considering that this was the first time many of the students had used a cashpoint machine or had been into a building society branch they took everything in their strides like old hands.
“A day like today takes lots of organisation so hats off to all of the staff and both Dororthy Goodman School and Hinckley & Rugby for making it happen, and of course the students for being such a delightful and willing bunch of young people.”
Georgia Betteridge, customer assistant at Hinckley & Rugby’s Castle Street branch, said: “It was lovely to welcome the Dorothy Goodman pupils who were very keen to learn and try out opening a savings account with us.”
Hinckley & Rugby’s Georgia Betteridge and Ed Flack of WizeUp with pupils from Dorothy Goodman School
Students at Sir Frank Whittle Studio School are better prepared for their financial futures after a day of lessons about money sponsored by Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.
The Lutterworth based school’s students covered topics including flat sharing and credit cards in sessions led by Ed Flack, a financial education expert from the not-for-profit WizeUp.
“Thanks to our fantastic sponsors at Hinckley & Rugby we were able to visit Sir Frank Whittle Studio School for the first time. It was a great day with loads of interaction from year 11 and 12 students.
“We covered student finance, budgeting, flat sharing, credit cards and ratings and taxation. It was a real privilege to be able to spend two and a half hours with each group.
“Anyone that has any doubts about the quality of young people leaving school over the next few years need have no fears – we are in safe hands.”
John Redmond, vice principal at Sir Frank Whittle Studio School, said:
“As a Studio School we are closely aligned to the best practices of business and industry and so we were delighted to be invited to host a whole day focussed on the financial education of our young people in areas that are vital to their future success.“Ed was superb at making all the topics covered engaging and students sent us emails afterwards saying things like ‘the speech was useful in terms of financially how much companies rely on credit ratings and how much going to university can affect you financially’ and ‘I found this really useful and have learned many new things’.
“I am very grateful to Hinckley & Rugby Building Society for this support as school budgets are tight and Ed’s work was of the highest standard.”
Denise Bradshaw, office manager for Hinckley & Rugby’s branch on Lutterworth’s High Street, dropped in to the Wize Up session and said:
“It was great to see how interested the young people were in what Ed shared with them. Learning how to manage their money will be invaluable for them as they move on to the world of work and independent living.”
Hinckley & Rugby Building Society has been sponsoring WizeUp’s work in schools in Leicestershire and Warwickshire since 2012.
WizeUp’s Ed Flack (centre) with Denise Bradshaw, John Redmond (far left) and pupils from Sir Frank W
Pupils at Rugby’s Lawrence Sheriff School showed great interest in learning about money during a day of financial education sponsored by Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.
Financial education experts from the not-for-profit WizeUp visited Lawrence Sheriff, working with all of the school’s 120 Year 9 pupils as part of a careers day.
Amanda Warde, the school’s Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance Coordinator, said:
“The students found Ed’s session and the activities within it engaging and interactive. It gave them lots of useful relatable information that they found easy to understand and interesting, making the world of personal finance less daunting.”
WizeUp’s Ed Flack said: “We had a great day with the students, delivering three sessions on the history of money, budgeting, saving and investing. “These were certainly lively affairs with students beginning to think about the bigger picture and how these life skills might fit into their lives after school. They all had an opportunity to run their own virtual business which was really good – and very profitable.
“This was followed up by lots of questions ranging from short selling of stocks to how income tax affects savings – great questions from a great bunch. As always, our thanks go to Hinckley & Rugby who made the day possible.”
Hinckley & Rugby’s branch & agency support officer Tracey Phipps said:
“Whenever WizeUp visits a local school we are very impressed with how engaged the students are and how much they take away from the sessions. It’s great to know they are better prepared for managing their money.”
Hinckley & Rugby Building Society regularly sponsors WizeUp’s visits to schools and colleges in its heartlands.
Lawrence Sheriff’s Year 9 students with Ed Flack (centre), HRBS’s Tracey Phipps and teacher Dan Clar
Students at Hinckley Academy’s John Cleveland Sixth Form explored money matters over two days of financial education sponsored by Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.
Financial education experts from the not-for-profit WizeUp were at JC6 to work with more than 130 Year 12 students on topics including budgeting, saving, tax and credit cards.
Part of the Sixth Form’s Futures programme, the sessions saw university-bound students explore managing their money during degree courses. Those keen to get into the workplace investigated how to manage their future earnings. WizeUp also held a session for parents of students considering university.
Hinckley & Rugby Building Society is now in its fourth year of regularly sponsoring WizeUp’s visits to schools and colleges in its heartlands.
WizeUp’s Ed Flack said: “We were delighted to be invited back to JC6. By dividing the students into those who were likely to go onto university and those who were keen to go straight into the work place we were able to deliver those workshops, which were most pertinent to each audience.
As always the students were keen and knowledgeable and we had the added opportunity of talking directly to parents this year about the role they will have to play in sending their sons and daughters to university.
“It was a really worthwhile visit and our thanks as always go to our fantastic sponsors at Hinckley & Rugby Building Society who make it all possible.”
Janet Paterson, head of sixth form, said: “Our students described the sessions as engaging, informative and really well presented. Ed’s financial experience, along with his calm, friendly manner, makes him an essential ingredient in our annual conference.
“We really appreciate the financial support of Hinckley & Rugby which enables us to offer our students the opportunity to develop their understanding of personal finance and skills for entering the world of work.”
Hinckley & Rugby’s Denise Bradshaw, office manager at the Society’s Hinckley branches, said:
“We are very pleased we can support WizeUp as they help the workers and university students of tomorrow with important insights into saving and borrowing money.”