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Credit unions join scheme to teach primary school children to save money


11 Aug 17

A financial education programme, backed by credit unions, is being rolled out to help primary school children and their families manage their money by setting up school savings clubs.

From the age of seven, children first form their financial habits, according to research from the Money Advice Service. A partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprise, with financial support from Virgin Money and the Government, has created “The LifeSavers programme”.

The programme works by matching a credit union to a school in that area. The children join the credit union as a saver and the school acts an interface, as a school bank. Children are brought into the scheme as junior savers and it is hoped they will remain with the credit union as adult members.

Polly Taylor from LifeSavers said: “It’s a three-pronged approach – financial education delivered in the classroom, getting parents involved in that financial education so that it might also help them and credit unions, which support the school savings clubs. It also promotes credit unions as an ethical, local platform for saving.”

There are 71 schools involved, with more than 600 staff and nearly 7,000 pupils taking part, while 550 teachers from other schools have been trained to deliver financial education.

Credit unions involved in the programme are Leeds City, Bradford District, Tynedale Community Bank, NE First, 2 Shires, Nottingham CU, London Mutual and Lewisham Plus. From September, Lifesavers will be working with four more credit unions in Liverpool, Bristol and Gloucester.

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