Read all the latest news, stories and case studies about LifeSavers and the schools and credit unions we are working with.
We believe financial education is vital to children’s ability to navigate adult life and the wider world. In a society in which 17% of adults are over-indebted and 40% have less than £100 in savings, schools can play an important part in giving children practical exposure to life skills such as saving and budgeting, as well as help cultivate values that will enable them to make good decisions about money in the future.
Like sex, money is a subject that many parents and carers find difficult to broach with their children: in our baseline research in schools running LifeSavers, only 1 in 5 KS1 pupils said they talk about money at home. Research has shown that habits and attitudes to money are already being formed at age seven, and consequently we strongly advocate for the inclusion of financial capability education within primary school curriculums.
Our response to the consultation on PSHE focuses on the area in which LifeSavers gives us direct experience, namely in equipping schools to develop financial capability amongst Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils. We argue that financial education is not the only important component of PSHE, but it is one that merits much greater emphasis as we seek to build fairer society in which all children and young people have the opportunity to flourish. Additionally, any new duty should be supported by a number of new enabling measures including updated guidance, availability of financial resources and inclusion in the Common Inspection Framework.
Read our response here
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10am - 3.30pm
Mary Ward House, London, WC1H 9SN
On the Money is a one-day conference designed to give children the best financial start in life by equipping teaching leads and headteachers to incorporate the LifeSavers approach to financial education and wider learning into their schools, and tailor it to each school’s unique aims and context. This is your one-off opportunity in 2018 to gain a FREE induction to this ground breaking programme, so reserve your places fast!
For more details and information on registering please visit our On The Money Conference Page.
LifeSavers is celebrating! We’ve reached our first birthday and my how we’ve grown. at some of the things we’ve achieved together over the last year, and look ahead to what’s happening this term in the LifeSavers programme.
72 schools in six regions have joined LifeSavers, and over 6,500 pupils have received financial education that will help set them up for a lifetime of saving and spending wisely. We have also trained 80 more schools to start their financial education journey.
A number of these schools are now heading into their second year of participation and are already seeing the benefits for pupils, staff and parents. Read our case study from Worksop Priory School in Nottinghamshire on page 4, to find out about their experience of LifeSavers.
By the end of this academic year we aim to have registered a further 50 schools. With most of the current LifeSavers schools due to launch their school savings clubs this term, there are already over 500 children saving through the programme.
More savers will be signing up this Autumn and setting their own savings goals – with a focus on Christmas saving and spending.
Like other primary schools running LifeSavers, Worksop Priory has discovered the programme creates an unusual level of interest. "The LifeSavers savings club has created real excitement within the school, with both parents and children keen to be involved," says Felicity Dorrington the savings club coordinator.
"The children get a buzz out of being part of a club, especially those who serve as savings managers. This is often their first real taste of responsibility."
As well as establishing sound financial management at an age when children form their ideas about money and what to do with it, Felicity reports other benefits central to the business of teaching and learning. "LifeSavers is giving children a different approach to maths, and we have already seen an improvement in the children's ability to make calculations and handle money."
But when LifeSavers started, the school had its work cut out to make the opportunity to save a reality for every child.
Although some children save just 20 pence each week, this is testimony to the culture the school has created and the ethos of LifeSavers which stresses the importance of putting money aside on a regular basis to achieve a goal.
"We want children to experience the satisfaction of buying something with their own funds," says Polly Taylor, a Project Co-ordinator at the Just Finance Foundation, home to LifeSavers. "This gives them the confidence of knowing they can achieve their goals independently. When they are adults, they are more likely to question whether they should take – and pay the costs of - easily available credit."
However, saving remains beyond the reach of others. "Sometimes parents simply can't afford for their child to have their own savings account," Felicity explains.
To overcome the barriers, Worksop Priory developed an ingenious approach. First, they introduced the idea of saving as a collective activity. Each class has their own savings account and will decide collectively what to spend their money on at the end of the year.
Then they added chickens. "The school uses some of its Pupil Premium funds to support six allotments, one for each year group, and there are also chickens," laughs Felicity. "Each class grows on their plot and takes it in turn to look after the chickens for a week at a time. They share produce with the school and eat school meals made from the home-grown produce together.
Then they sell the rest – salads, vegetables and eggs - to parents and teachers. All the income goes towards the class savings account." In this way, every child is involved. Pooling effort and sharing the gains bring the LifeSavers values of generosity, thankfulness and justice to life in a particularly vivid way.
Photo: Children at Worksop Priory CofE Primary School learning about saving in a particularly hands-on way – earning their funds together before they decide what to spend them on.
The school may even have found an effective way to amplify wisdom, the fourth value of the programme. "Radishes didn't sell well last year!" says Felicity. "The produce grown this year will have to be chosen more carefully. The children are learning from direct experience how better planning means more money."
Emma-Jayne Turner, LifeSavers Project Manager at Young Enterprise, JFF's delivery partner, comments, "Worksop Priory have raised the bar for us all in LifeSavers. By adding income generation into the mix, their children have a unique insight into the whole cycle of earning, saving and spending. We will study the evaluation with interest to see what difference this makes."
"They are an inspiration," says Paul Eastwood, Director of Partnerships at Virgin Money, LifeSavers' funder. "The way the school has adapted LifeSavers to work for them demonstrates how the core curriculum is just the start of a learning journey. It is a programme that can make a real difference to the growth of young people in every school."