City Firms pledge £1m to equip children with money skills

KickStart Money
educating future savers: Photo by Lucélia Ribeiro

A shared sector commitment to arm thousands of schoolchildren with essential money skills has been launched, with one City institution leading the way.

Sixteen of Britain’s leading savings and investment firms have given their backing to KickStart Money, a collaborative project investing £1million to take financial education to nearly 18,000 primary pupils.

The movement plans to build a national savings culture for the future, with research showing that just 7% of seven to 17-year-olds have talked to their teachers about money.

Primary delivery partner, the charity MyBnk, is taking its Money Twist programme into 100 schools, focusing on topics such as saving, budgeting, careers, borrowing, and consumer and public finance to help forge positive financial attitudes and behaviours in seven to 11-year-olds.

Spearheaded by Columbia Threadneedle, Old Mutual Wealth and managed by The Tax Incentivised Savings Association, KickStart Money is a serious statement of intent by the sector in response to calls from Select Committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups for money lessons to become a compulsory element of the primary national curriculum.

Rupert Pybus, global head of brand and marketing at Columbia Threadneedle and a trustee director of the firm’s foundation, said that targeting the younger generations was the best way to help shape attitudes in the coming years.

He added: “Significant proportions of the UK population lack the basic functional skills and knowledge to effectively manage their money. KickStart Money has been developed as a mechanism for the industry to pro-actively and collectively transform the long-term savings behaviour of a generation.”

The project has also been awarded £80,000 by Money Advice Service as part of their ‘What Works Fund’ independent evaluation project to help deepen the knowledge of the UK’s most effective financial capability interventions.

Sessions are free for schools, who are urged to book workshops via [email protected]