Thames Valley trainee Alex Friston, who currently sits in the Tax team, attended Prospect School on 28 January 2019 as part of the 2018/19 pro bono challenge which is being undertaken by all first-year trainees.
The purpose of the visit, which was supervised by the Head of Tax Tom Wilde, was to fulfil the aim of providing a session targeted at school leavers based on how general taxation works in both a simplified and engaging manner. In an assembly-style format, over 240 students attended the event.
Alex explained, “I wanted to offer something different to an advice clinic, and felt public legal education was a critical route to follow in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of ‘Quality Education’ and ‘Reduced Inequalities’. Throughout the world, over 265 million children are out of school. Whilst unthinkable to majority of us in the UK, real-world practicalities are often neglected from the curriculum, meaning many children leave school at 18 without a basic understanding of how and why tax works in the way it does.”
On top of the tax session, which covered the main principles of tax throughout history, income tax, VAT and NICs, there was also a section about budgeting for the future, which was specifically requested by the careers department.
Overall it was a successful morning which has led to a further relationship being established between the firm and the school, with Alex and Tom being invited to deliver further sessions to smaller groups of students in a variety of age groups.