‘e for Education’ campaign raising funds for education charities around the world

For many students on the verge of leaving school, the tough decision of what path to take can be daunting. The job market remains extremely competitive for all 16-24 year olds and university places now cost more than ever. Children from low-income households face even greater challenges as they enter the world of work. Poorer pupils are almost twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training post-16, compared to their more affluent peers.

For a third consecutive year, Citi named Teach First as a beneficiary of their ‘e for Education’ campaign — an initiative raising funds for education charities around the world. To mark this year’s campaign they invited students from London schools into their Canary Wharf offices for a behind-the-scenes look at the trading floor. To inspire students and encourage a career in the finance sector, students were able to replicate a day in the life of a trader — enjoying a rare tour of the trading floor and taking part in simulated trading games.

Educational inequality starts early, before a child even starts school, according to the UK charity Teach First. In the UK, the street you grow up on can determine your whole future and many children from our poorest communities fall behind before they even start primary school. Figures show a one year gap in 'school readiness' between 3-year-olds, and an 11 month gap in vocabulary development between 5-year-olds, in the richest and poorest families. The gap continues and widens throughout school and has an impact throughout a child's life. At GCSE level, nearly 50% of children claiming free school meals achieve no passes above a D grade. Then over a lifetime, a graduate from a Russell Group university will earn on average £371,000 more than someone who left school with fewer than 5 good GCSEs.

Citi’s ‘e for Education’ is an annual campaign which aims to bring an end to inequality inside and outside the classroom and this year supports two UK charities — Teach First and SkillForce. Previous e for Education campaigns have raised over $800,000 for Teach First. Last year, funds raised by the campaign supported the costs of recruiting, training and supporting 125 Teach First teachers, who this year will be reaching over 18,000 pupils in their classrooms.

Through the campaign, Citi donates $1 for every $1million traded through Velocity or CitiFX Pulse, Citi’s award-winning proprietary FX electronic trading platforms between October and December. The funds raised through transactions will be split across seven pioneering education charities around the world: Teach First and SkillForce in the UK; Room to Read, Uncommon Schools, Fallen Patriots, Civic Builders and Empower across the world.

Brett Wigdortz OBE, CEO and Founder of Teach First, said:

Teach First has a really clear vision – no child’s educational success is limited by their socio-economic background. Our mission, which is how we hope to achieve this, is by building a movement of leaders in classrooms and schools and across society who will help ensure that all children get the same opportunities.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be chosen as a beneficiary of Citi’s ‘e for Education’ campaign for the third year running. It has been a huge success over the last three years – I visit schools all over the country where I can see first-hand the impact this campaign has on young people, and I really hope everyone involved in the campaign feels good about the impact it has.”

George Watts in year 13 at Gunnersbury Catholic School, who attended the event at Citi’s offices, said:

The game we played today was all about shares and commodities in different areas of finance that we would relate to. For example, a share would be in a company such as Microsoft, or Barclays and you have to interpret the news in a way to relate that to how prices are going to change, if there is a change in oil prices you have to react and buy and sell shares.

Speaking to Jeremy Stuart, a maths and economics teacher at Forest Academy and Teach First ambassador, said:

What I want them to take away from the event today is, I want them to build their aspirations. Bringing them to an impressive building like Citi’s, with the city of London skyline behind us, it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to see where they can take their lives. We also have a number of talented year 11s who I am trying to enthuse about economics and I think this sort of activity, as well as visiting the trading floor is certainly a way to do that.”

Citi is a long-standing partner in Teach First’s mission to tackle educational disadvantage in England and Wales, for more information, please visit www.teachfirst.org.uk.

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