A TEACHER has seen his talents recognised after scooping a top award.

Nick Redfern, of Powers Hall Academy in Witham, has been crowned the Primary School Personal Finance Teacher of the Year.

The awards, run by Interactive Investor, recognise teachers across the key stages who have actively sought to instil good financial know-how among their pupils.

Mr Redfern said: “I was very surprised.

“Like all of these things you work in isolation, never quite sure of the standard of the work you do compared to other schools that are piloting financial education.”

Initially trained as a teacher, Mr Redfern then spent more than 25 years working as an investment banker before returning to education.

He taught initially in secondary schools but later went into primary education with a desire to foster financial awareness among younger schoolchildren.

Mr Redfern teaches a seven-week course to year six pupils, which covers a range of topics such debt, budgeting and interest rates.

He said: “It’s something that isn’t really a major part of the syllabus in primary or secondary education.

“It is important, understanding about debt, budgeting, and other key things to do with money and money management.

“Nearly all the parents I speak to say they wish they had that.”

The award judges particularly liked that Mr Redfern had considered the high number of pupils from working-class families and delivered a valuable and important financial lesson on debt.

He put together one of his seven lessons on debt, doorstep credit collectors and high interest rates.

Mr Redfern has been teaching at Powers Hall since 2013, providing financial lessons to ten and 11-year-olds, in an effort to educate them before they head off to secondary school.

Long term, his aspiration is to get a financial GCSE course.

He said: “I have an ambition to get a GCSE financial awareness course adopted by the Government.

“Doing a GCSE in financial education would be a massive advantage for children and society, in my opinion far more than business studies or economics.

“It is a very personal topic to individuals and is likely to have a huge impact on their lives.”