Children give debt advice lessons

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Schoolchildren across the county are set to get lesson devised by youngsters at a Chorley school.

A debt advice scheme pioneered by mentors at Southlands high school will be rolled out across the county from September.

The Money Management project will be taught to more than 16,000 primary school pupils over the next three years.

It has been developed by national advice and education charity, the Debt Advice Foundation in partnership with the Clover Road School.

The project has involved the creation of three money diaries, presentations and lessons taught by high school pupils to primary school children.

It has focused on teaching youngsters about the importance of budgeting and the perils of debt misuse.

Southlands student and Money Matters mentor, Hannah Dickinson, 16, said: “The main aim of the scheme is to give children a basic knowledge and understanding of money and promote a sensible attitude towards debt.

“We aim to teach the children a valuable life skill as unlike maths and English, money management is not taught in primary schools. We think that it is important to start teaching the children at a young age as that is when the start to form attitudes.

“It’s also good that it is youngsters who teach the lessons as it is something different and helps them to remember the important message we are putting across.”

Eight secondary schools across Lancashire have now signed up to be a part of the scheme from September and they will each adopt eight primary schools in their area.

Hannah added: “More than 200 secondary school pupils will be trained as money mentors and 4,000 primary schools will be involved in the first year.

“There are six lessons that start by talking about the difference between needs and wants and they progress to include budgeting and even gambling and pay day loans.”

The Southlands pupils have spoken to everyone from Sir Mervyn King, when he was Governor of the Bank of England, to Robert Peston, the BBC’s Business Editor and MPs and ministers.