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Credit unions to boost money training in schools

New Abcul report explores education opportunities

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Credit unions offer community-based loans and savings accounts and can be an excellent alternative to the big banks

The Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul) has published a report aimed at encouraging saving in secondary schools.

The report, ‘Encouraging saving in secondary schools’, sets out recommendations for creating partnerships that allow young people to build their financial skills through practical experience of money management. It also examines the benefits of credit unions working with secondary schools to achieve this aim.

The research, carried out by ECOTEC Research and Consulting, showed that credit union projects are both viable and worthwhile in secondary schools, with promising evidence of positive outcomes of pupils’ money management, confidence and communication skills.

Credit unions teach children the value of money management

Damian Hinds MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, commented: ‘The research highlights the valuable role that credit unions can play in teaching secondary school children the importance of money management. This demonstrates how community organisations such as credit unions can actively help people take control of their lives.’

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, added: ‘There is a growing interest amongst credit unions to work with secondary schools, which reflects new opportunities in the curriculum. Our research showed that credit unions, with their ethical and co‑operative credentials, are particularly welcomed by school staff as an alternative to the role of high street banks in supporting financial education within the curriculum.’

Abcul report is a welcome boost for financial education in schools

Which? Principal Researcher Martyn Saville welcomed the report: ‘Reaching children early on and teaching them how to handle their finances is vitally important. Abcul’s work to promote financial literacy in schools is therefore very welcome.

‘A frightening number of young adults leave education without receiving any training to enable them to budget and save for the future. This report, in addition to the schools projects already undertaken by financial providers, such as MBNA’s Tackling Numbers scheme, will hopefully lead to a further expansion in schools’ money awareness teaching and is to be welcomed.’

For more information on finding your local credit union and how they work, read the new Which? guide to saving and borrowing with a credit union. And for more thoughts on financial education, why not go to Which? Conversation

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