Yorkshire Building Society has launched an innovative new financial education programme to be delivered by colleagues in schools across the UK.
Money Minds is a free programme consisting of a series of activities and projects designed to promote discussion and learning among children and young people aged five to 19 of all abilities.
Andy Caton, Yorkshire Building Society's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said: “Learning how to effectively manage finances is a vital life skill. Understanding things such as the likely costs of a bank account or loan and being able to make informed choices will help people avoid financial problems.
“We’re committed to supporting schools in teaching financial education and hope that our Money Minds programme will help to improve financial capability in the UK.”
The Society has also written to all 5,000 academy schools in England asking them to pledge their commitment to teaching financial education even though they are not required to follow the national curriculum on which it appears.
Mr Caton told a discussion panel organised by the Society that it was vital academies included financial education in their lessons.
“If academy schools do not deliver financial education then much of the great progress made in recent years to establish its importance within the curriculum will be lost,” he said.
“Pupils in academies that opt to not teach financial education are at danger of being left behind compared to those who are learning about managing money.
“At the moment we just don’t know how many children in academy schools will receive financial education which is why we have taken the step to ask them all to pledge their commitment to it.”
The discussion panel event held at Portcullis House, close to the Palace of Westminster, also heard from leading financial education proponents Martin Lewis OBE, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North and Treasury Select Committee member and Michael Mercieca, the chief executive of Young Enterprise.
Wes Streeting MP said: “As a supporter of financial education, I welcome the launch of Money Minds by Yorkshire Building Society. Slowly but surely the need for these kind of applied and practical skills for young people is being fully realised. I very much look forward to watching the roll-out of the programme, which will allow children to enhance their skills and knowledge in interactive ways.”
Money Minds comprises a series of activities and projects designed to promote discussion and share learning among children and young people of all ages and abilities.
Topics range from keeping money safe for ages five to seven, planning a party to learn budgeting skills for children aged eight to 11, up to calculating interest and responsibilities to repay loans for older children.
The activities seek to build decision making skills, team working abilities and practical maths knowledge as well as financial literacy.
They are delivered by Yorkshire Building Society colleagues as part of the mutual’s award-winning corporate volunteering scheme, which allocates each employee 31 hours’ paid leave every year to carry out volunteering in local communities.
Each Money Minds session is delivered in conjunction with a classroom teacher and each colleague completes a Classroom Ethics and Safeguarding Awareness course prior to leading the group.
More information about Money Minds can be found at www.ybs.co.uk/moneyminds
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