WYRE FOREST’S MP found himself back at school as he joined students from King Charles I School in Kidderminster for a financial education lesson.

Conservative Mark Garnier, who has spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron about the benefits of making financial education compulsory in the school curriculum, saw how interactive white boards turned into working ATMs and giant cheques appeared as the school’s year 8 pupils learnt about the basics of banking, thanks to NatWest’s MoneySense for Schools programme.

Watched by the MP, teacher Chris Gibson, together with NatWest’s Kim Whitehouse, took the pupils through interactive exercises to help them understand more about what banks do, including how cheques and paying-in slips work and the practical tasks of balancing statements and using ATMs.

Ms Whitehouse, said: “Financial education for young people is more important today than it has ever been. It is essential that they start to understand about money management and bank accounts as soon as possible.”

Mr Garnier said: “Financial education is something that must be put on to the curriculum but until it is, it is incredibly important that financial organisations engage with schools to help ensure the next generation is financially literate.”

Chris Gibson, leader of King Charles I Lower School, said: “It was a pleasure having Mark with us and to show him how we are helping our students understand money.

“The students have really enjoyed and benefited from the activities. It’s very important that they gain basic money management skills and the NatWest MoneySense tools are an extremely practical and fun way of doing this.”