It’s back to school for a chartered accountancy firm in Wilmslow this week as they announced their support for an educational programme to give children a better understanding of money.
Langricks is backing Money Skills for Life, devised by DebtAware, the financial education work of national debt advice charity Debt Advice Foundation – and aims to increase money management skills in primary schools across Cheshire and Yorkshire.
According to DebtAware Education Manager Brian Souter, primary school is the best place for spending behaviours to be shaped.
He said: “When you look at the millions of people struggling with debt – many of whom have never been taught about handling money – you realise how important it is to give youngsters the basics as early as possible.
“At DebtAware, we believe that good money habits can be instilled from as young as nine or ten years old – positively shaping spending attitudes for a lifetime.”
Over the last four years, DebtAware has worked with over 160 primary schools in the North West – primarily Lancashire - with some 10,600 children undertaking the programme so far.
Feedback from children, parents and teachers has been hugely positive, with many little learners taking their newfound skills home to set up savings accounts of their own. Some even looked around for the highest rates of interest – for both their own and their parents’ money.
Director Chris Langrick commented: “You cannot help but be impressed with the approach of this charity. It’s done such good work in the last four years and we think deserves massive support to take it wider, higher, quicker – allowing even more children to enjoy the benefits of money management, now and in the future.
“There is a great fit between Langricks and DebtAware. We share the same purpose and values – instilling good money management strategies and using money wisely to sustain growth. Sadly, personal debt – with all its associated pressures – is very much reality.
Recent statistics show that UK households had outstanding loans worth £37billion in 2016-17 – a value growing four times faster than wages.
Chris again: “If we can help future generations to be smarter with money, then we will have made progress.”
Teacher Sarah Chapman at Euxton Primrose Hill Primary school in Chorley said her Year 6 class found the lessons enjoyable and valuable.
“DebtAware has thought carefully about what motivates children and made it fun, relevant and easy to understand. Even words like balanced budget, surplus and deficit – they get what they mean and are applying what they learn.”
The DebtAware team provides six main modules for primary schools which are taught in years five and six and appoints pupils as Money Mentors – over 1000 to date - to develop reminder lessons in between. “This is the real beauty of the programme,” said Sarah. “Pupils teaching other pupils. It has delivered great results for the class and for the individuals involved.”
Lessons are currently provided free of charge for the first year of a school’s involvement in the programme, then schools are asked for a small annual donation. This helps to keep the project sustainable. The charity also gets some support income from its parent charity - Debt Advice Foundation.
Langricks will launch the campaign in September with its first fund-raising event, a Golf Day at Shrigley Hall Golf and Country Club. Chris again: “We are calling on our network to join us in campaigning to help more children get the basic skills early in life.”
Brian Souter again: “We are delighted to have Langricks on board and look forward to working with them to take the Money Skills programme to the next, much wider, level.”