Good financial education should give children real life experiences. Setting up a school savings club is a great way of making looking after money real for pupils, reinforcing theoretical knowledge with practical learning.
What is a Savings Club?
Savings clubs are a schools-based activity whereby pupils are offered the chance to deposit and withdraw small amounts of money on a regular basis, usually in partnership with a local credit union (or community bank).
Savings clubs give pupils practical experience of handling money, helping to foster a savings habit and other good financial habits from an early age. The focus is not the amount that is saved but that pupils save a little regularly. Pupils should be encouraged to save for a purpose, rather than just for its own sake.
LifeSavers also encourages schools to involve pupils in running the savings club as junior cashiers or bank managers, under the supervision of adult volunteers.
89% of teachers agree that the practical experience of a savings club has helped embed learning from the delivery of financial education.
90% of teachers agree that involving pupils in running savings clubs has developed their skills
Why set up a Savings Club?
There are many practical learning opportunities around using and handling money for pupils that come with joining and helping to run a school savings club. LifeSavers can help you make the most of these opportunities, by providing guidance on how to run a successful school savings club and how to link this to our classroom teaching and collective worship / assembly resources as part of a whole school approach to financial education.
- Offering pupils a hands-on experience of managing their own money, handling and taking responsibility for money, are vital parts of the learning.
- Giving pupils the opportunity to open a savings account with a local financial institution and develop the skills necessary to become a ‘critical consumer’
- Encouraging parents and carers to get involved in their children’s financial education, through helping them to save and use money wisely
- Introducing a working knowledge and understanding of credit unions’ mutual values and principles
- Giving older pupils the chance to volunteer with the savings club, fostering life-long skills, such as organisation, communication skills and teamwork
LifeSavers can help you to work through the practicalities of setting up a schools savings club, with the help of our Savings Club Handbook.
Our financial education resources will also help you to incorporate the savings club into a coherent programme of financial education for your school.
Support for your Savings Clubs
Alongside school staff and parent volunteers, many churches and community organisations are also keen to develop stronger links with local schools and supporting financial education is a great way for them to get involved in the life of your school.
Why not talk to your local church or community organisation about how they could help.
Central to many school savings clubs in schools is the partnership with a local credit union. So it’s important that everyone involved with the savings club understands what credit unions are and how they operate.
Credit unions are a type of local, community bank. Like banks, they offer a range of financial services, primarily savings and loans. Unlike banks, credit unions operate as a financial mutual, lending people’s savings out to other members. Any profit is redistributed among the members or re-invested in the credit union.
Being part of the savings club means that pupils will become junior members of the credit union. When they reach adulthood (usually 16), they will be eligible to register as full members.
You can find a local credit union at findyourcreditunion.co.uk.