HMRC launches tax education programme in Welsh

A free education programme off ering a simple introduction to tax for primary school children is now available for Welsh speaking students, HM Revenue and Customs announced recently. Junior Tax Facts, which is already available in English, consists of an engaging animation and a supporting teachers’ pack, to teach children aged eight to 11 years old about where money comes from to pay for all the things that are essential to them, their families and communities – like local transport, the police, doctors and their school. It also gives children the opportunity to practise important skills they’ll need in later life, including communication and listening, literacy and numeracy, and negotiating and debating. Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services said: “The expansion of Junior Tax Facts into the Welsh language will open up access to the programme and the benefi ts it provides to many more children. “It helps children understand how tax works and what it pays for. It also supports them in developing important skills which will be useful to them as they grow up.” Junior Tax Facts has increased students’ understanding of what HMRC does and why tax is collected.

Data collected from schools using the programmes shows: • 97% of children know who HMRC are compared with 3% before studying Junior Tax Facts; • 88% of children know why we collect tax compared with 12% before, and; • 83% of children know taxes are spent on things that are important for them, their families and society compared to 17% before. Cathryn Davey, Headteacher at Llanystumdwy Primary School added: “I think that this is an excellent resource, especially in today’s economic climate. “Hopefully by discussing ways of spending public money responsibly during Junior Tax Facts sessions, pupils will also be able to think about their own spending habits in future. “Anything which helps develop fi nancial literacy in young people is a valuable resource. It’s very useful that this is now available through the medium of Welsh.” Junior Tax Facts has already been delivered in a number of schools in Wales and there have been almost 3,000 unique downloads of the teachers’ pack across the UK. There is also a Tax Facts programme available for secondary school children aged 11-14 which will be available in Welsh later this year.

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With the clocks having gone forward, we’re now able to welcome the offi cial start of British Summertime. This also means that we face lighter nights and mornings and for some, that can cause havoc with their sleeping patterns. It’s not all bad news though as the spring season brings longer days, warmer weather and the start of the holiday season. To prepare you for spring slumbers, home furnishings retailer Terry’s Fabrics has teamed up with hypnotherapy expert and author, Dipti Tait, to fi nd out how you can ensure you’re still getting a good night’s sleep even during lighter mornings. Dipti says: “Sleep is a restorative system that our brain and body needs to effectively recharge and reboot, so it is crucial we know how to sleep well to be effi cient, healthy and productive. Sleep preparation is a mental state of mind, with the right thought processes engaged we should be able to sleep in any environment at any time of day it is. “Even when the clocks change and the days become light sooner, this should not have a detrimental effect on your sleep, providing you have put the right measures in place.” If you fi nd it diffi cult to get a good night’s sleep during the summer months, these top tips might help you to drift off to sleep. Experiment with relaxation techniques When it comes to relaxing and unwinding, fi nd what works best for you. It’s important to feel calm before bed as this will enable you to get a better night’s sleep, without interruption. Shut out the light There are options available for those who struggle to sleep during the lighter months. Dipti says: “If you fi nd that you are easily disturbed with noise or movement, try sleeping with an eye mask and ear plugs to train your brain to switch

off external stimuli quickly and easily. Reduce your stress levels Everyone has different methods of dealing with stress but one thing remains the same for all of us; stress impacts our ability to sleep. Wake up naturally Having an earlier night can help you to wake up naturally in the morning, which in turn helps you to feel more refreshed and ready for the day. If you fi nd that life gets in the way of having an early night, Dipti has some advice on how you can help yourself to wake up naturally. She says: “A lot of people I speak to about their sleep patterns tell me they wake up just before their alarm clock is about to go off. This is because they have subconsciously programmed their waking up time into their brain, and the brain naturally wakes them up at the right time. To make use of your internal alarm clock, all you have to do is instruct your brain to wake up at a certain time. “Try an experiment and simply tell yourself as you get into bed: I will wake up at 7am tomorrow, feeling refreshed and raring to go!” Advice for shift workers For

many shift workers across the

country, getting a regular night’s sleep isn’t always possible. But there are ways to get enough sleep, despite the irregular hours.

Dipti advises: “Shift workers do play around with their natural body clock, but this does not mean that their sleep has to suffer. The same sleep systems and tips can be put into place. Keeping stress out of your system as much as you can is important. “Tell your brain that it is time to switch off, replicate the darkened room and switch off from any likely daytime disturbances.” collections/blackout-roller-blinds

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