Going to the bank is on school timetable

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Primary school pupils will be given cash to open their own savings accounts as part of a pioneering drive to improve financial education.

The first-of-its-kind project is part of a joint initiative between a credit union and the Debt Advice Foundation.

It has its roots in money management programmes originally devised by pupils at Southlands High School in Chorley and now used by thousands of pupils across the country.

Next week all 212 pupils at All Saints Primary School in Chorley will be given a “start-up” gift to enable them to open an interest-paying savings account at school.

The aim is to help them save on a regular basis, and pupils won’t be allowed to cash-in the gift until they leave

Brian Souter, from the DAF, left his post as deputy headteacher at Southlands to help the charity after his Money Diaries project became so successful. The programme, which started with two pupils at the Clover Road School writing a diary to help fellow pupils learn about basic budgeting, snowballed and is now in use in schools all over the areas.

Mr Souter said: “ The Money Diaries has been so successful there are now three books in the series and we have just had to reprint the original .

“We never dreamt it would take off like this.

“We now have primary school money mentors delivering lessons to fellow pupils. “

Although finance has been introduced to the national curriculum in secondary schools this year, Mr Souter said youngsters were “extremely responsive” to the scheme.

He added: “We have worked with Chorley Credit Union and the schools to tr y to educate young children about finance from an early age and if we can get them saving and understanding money from childhood they will be more aware of debt in adulthood.”

The bank project is being adopted by other schools.