Tinchy turns teacher

Tinchy Stryder at St Matthew Academy Photo: Ed Robinson

Rapper Tinchy Stryder swapped the bling for the blackboard in Lewisham today in support of the government programme to deliver personal finance in schools.The Bow singer took a teacher role in a special class at St Matthew Academy.

As pupils displayed their bank manager credentials – telling the star how they manage their individual finances, he offered his tips on how best to handle money.

Speaking to EastLondonLines, he said: “I believe, whatever age you are – even kids with piggy banks – as long as you are aware of money you should understand how saving money is really important in life.

“If you’ve got something saved, as you get older saving can turn into investment.”

The 22-year-old grime artist is well qualified in offering personal finance advice. Before becoming 2009’s biggest selling male act, he relied on his personal business knowledge to help forward his career. He bankrolled his debut album, set up his own successful clothing line – Star In The Hood – and more recently his own record label.

Maths teacher Michelle Key-Lewis was pleased with his impact and shared his views. She said: “It’s fantastic having him here, it gives the children something to aspire to, especially in the Lewisham area. They all work very hard and love learning about money.

“From nursery through to year 11 we try to bring personal finance – how to manage their money wisely, and be successful in life – into all lessons, not just maths.”

Wendy van den Hende, chief executive of pfeg, the financial education charity heading the programme said: “We think Tinchy is a great ambassador for My Money and we are thrilled to have him on board. We hope that his involvement will drive interest in this year’s My Money Week and that more teachers and schools take note of the importance of embedding personal finance into the curriculum.”

The My Money scheme is a three-year education project launched in 2008, offering free resources on how to incorporate personal finance activities into children’s schooling, in all areas of the curriculum.

Pupils in the classroom seemed to take on board what the music star had to say, but for year six student Harry, the excitement was a bit too overwhelming. He said: “I’m still in shock that he’s here to be honest.”

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