I’m chatting on BBC Five Live Radio today about this initiative to teach children about saving, budgeting and learning the value of money.
This strikes me as a great idea as children need to learn how to manage money and it starts with the way you talk about money, the way you handle money and the way you act around money. With the help of this school initiative and your input your children will become empowered around taking care of themselves financially long term free from the crippling effects of debt.
Children as young as four are being encouraged to join savings clubs as part of
a bid to prevent them relying on payday lenders or racking up heavy debts later
The Church of England is proposing a network of clubs in primary schools run by
credit unions which will help teach youngsters to take a responsible approach to
money from an early age.
Under the plans, children would be able to save small, regular amounts of
money, and would also be given the chance to take part in running the groups,
such as working as junior cashiers or bank managers.
Parents and school staff could also sign up to the clubs, with mothers and
fathers able to set up dedicated accounts to save for particular expenses such
as trips and school uniform.
The proposals – which would be piloted in Church of England primary schools in
three areas to begin with – have been drawn up by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s
new Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings.
The task group was launched at the beginning of the year in the wake of
comments by the Most Rev Justin Welby that he wanted to drive payday lenders out
of business through the creation of credit unions.
Credit unions are usually small financial co-operatives set up by local
communities and other groups such as trade unions.
Savings clubs in schools can be a good way to improve children’s financial
knowledge through practical education and traditional lessons, according to a
report published by The Children’s Society.
It says research has found that nearly two-thirds of children (64%) get their
first bank or building society account before they start secondary school, while
nearly three-quarters of 15-year-olds with a bank account have a debit card.
A separate study concluded that more than half of 10 to 17-year-olds said they
saw advertising for loans “often” or “all the time”.
“With children making financial choices at an even younger age, and regularly
exposed to advertisements for credit, it has never been so important to ensure
that children learn about debt and money management from an early age,” a
foreword to the Children’s Society report warns.
The Church said it was focusing on savings clubs in primary schools partly
because it is responsible for one in four primaries in England and also because
financial education is already part of the national curriculum for secondaries.
It is looking for funding from Government and private companies for the pilot
scheme, which would run in six schools over nine months, before being rolled out
to 100 schools in the three chosen areas.
If successful, the scheme could become a voluntary national financial education
programme for primaries, starting with those run by the Church.
The savings clubs would be given “seed” funding of around #1 per child per
term for the first year for all youngsters who want to join and take part.
Sir Hector Sants, chair of the task group, said: “Savings clubs can transform
lives through helping establish a responsible approach to money from an early
“This programme would also strengthen communities through building links
between schools, churches and credit unions, and is part of the Church of
England’s broader initiative to support the development of a larger, vibrant and
more sustainable community finance sector in this country.”
In July last year, Mr Welby told Errol Damelin, then chief executive of payday
lender Wonga, about his ambition to make the controversial lenders redundant by
helping the credit unions play a much bigger role in helping people in financial
It later emerged that the Church of England indirectly invested £75,000 in
Wonga, out of investments totalling £5.2 billion, which Mr Welby acknowledged
was “very embarrassing” following his remarks about the payday industry.
The Church announced earlier this year that it had ended its severed its ties
with the payday lender.