The impact of money management lessons

Why is teaching children about debt and money so important?

We spoke to Parish Church of England School in St Helens, who have become a DebtAware Accredited Money Management School, on their involvement in the programme and what benefits the lessons have had for their pupils. 
Jenny Young, Year 6 teacher said; “In Summer 2015 we carried out a 'Health and Wellbeing' survey with our pupils and we were shocked and saddened to discover that a large proportion of our pupils 'had worries'. We decided to look in to this further and subsequently we found that many pupils had worries about 'their family not having money'.”
As a school in an area in the lowest percentile of deprivation nationally, the results of the survey drove the school to want to make a difference. They launched several initiatives before they heard of the DebtAware programme. 
After speaking to DebtAware’s ‘enigmatic and passionate’ education manager Brian Souter, they knew that they wanted to become part of the scheme. 
Jenny continued; 
“We feel the programme will raise ambitions and life chances for our pupils by enabling them to make well informed, prudent and intelligent decisions about their own money later in life. Already, just after Module 1, children are openly discussing 'saving' for items they covet and even the benefits of purchasing pre owned rather than brand new items such as games consoles and games! What a difference to hear pupils discussing these mature concepts so confidently.” 
The school has 8 Money Mentors in total (4 from each year group) and the children have given feedback that they thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of delivering the sessions. 
Money Mentor Alexandra in Year 5 agreed; 
“The programme is fun to learn and not just interesting but educational too. At first I was nervous about delivering the sessions but now I feel quite good about myself because I'm actually teaching children something they don't know.”
Each pupil in years 5 and 6 has a 'Financial Awareness' folder in which they can proudly store and reflect on all the work they do as part of the programme. These folders were looked at during the schools recent Ofsted inspection and the inspector noted that she was extremely impressed by the programme and the content of the children's responses. 
Looking to the future, the school plans to embed the programme fully into their curriculum. Head Teacher Mrs Lynne Ryder added; 
“We are proud to participate in such an innovative programme and we have found that our children thoroughly enjoy the challenge of the sessions. The Modules are well resourced and the range of content covered assists us in ensuring that we have a broad, balanced yet exciting curriculum at Parish which is rooted in ensuring our pupils all go on to become successful and happy individuals. 
The news of our upcoming accreditation has delighted the whole school community and as Head Teacher I am thrilled with the positive impact this programme has had on both staff and pupils.”

If you would like further details on our DebtAware Programme, please visit the DebtAware website.