CUW Awards: School Partnership
The School Partnership category of the Credit Unions of Wales Awards 2018 recognises those schools who work with their local credit union to provide savings clubs to pupils.
The award celebrates the partnerships that benefit the school, credit union and the local community at large.
The nominations for this award are:
Llanedeyrn Primary School, Cardiff
As one of Cardiff & Vale Credit Unions oldest school savers clubs which started in 2010 it has 56 members saving regularly.
Volunteers are coming up with innovative ideas to encourage pupils to save each week such as a savings booklet to check their savings (providing real life maths skills), a gift for every sixth deposit (encourages saving regularly) and a sticker for pupils who visits the club (good for social skills).
They have also introduced a teddy bear mascot for the reception class who officially opens the club every week!
Volunteers arrange meetings and coffee mornings with parents to improve the club and promote credit union services.
Volunteers use school social media as a weekly reminder about the savers club and the importance of financial wellbeing. This has led to staff and parents becoming members.
Many of the members who have moved on to high school still save with the credit union.
Oldcastle Primary School. Bridgend
Even though the partnership between Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union and Oldcastle Primary School is relatively new, it has already had an incredible impact.
After a pledge from the school, that meant every new saver receives £2 in their credit union account, the school savings club opened in November 2017.
It was an immediate success, with Year 4 pupils taking advantage of the practical experience of running the busy savings club each week.
The first week saw 76 savers, saving over £340 of their pocket money.
Since then, the membership has increased to 236 members with a total of £11,900 of savings with the credit union at the end of the school year.
The school has fully incorporated the scheme into their week and report on it in their weekly newsletter.
New starters to the school receive information about credit unions and the saving scheme in their induction packs and it has already become an established part of the school community.
Llanyravon Primary School, Cwmbran
Llanyravon runs a savings club as part of their programme of financial education,
The club is run by a team of Year 6 pupils with adult supervision.
Each year every child takes home information about the credit union and the services on offer.
The young people at Llanyravon are exceptionally knowledgeable about personal finances and always ask searching questions when credit union staff and volunteers appear at assemblies and presentations. They have also produced posters and badges to promote saving.
Ringland Primary School, Newport
Ringland Primary School has not only encouraged children to save but helped their parents overcome financial problems.
Newport Credit Union was contacted by the school and a local community group to establish a savings club and provide additional financial support to parents.
This took place when the school became aware of a parent borrowing from a payday lender to fund their child’s school trip.
The savings club was soon set up and encouraged children to save regularly. They have four volunteers and are supported by teachers to make it a real success.
Credit Union members attend events, such as their summer fete, to offer services and products to parents and the wider community.
The Savings Club has steadily grown and are planning to hold a competition and further events to grow the club and the credit union’s awareness in the area.
Greenfield School, Merthyr Tydfil
Based in Pentrebach, Greenfield School has pupils aged 3 -19 years old and is the only special school in Merthyr Tydfil borough.
The school set up a savings club with their local credit union in January 2013 to assist pupils in developing important financial skills by saving their pocket money.
Over 50 pupils at Greenfield School deposit their savings into Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union Junior Savings Scheme.
Although pupils don’t handle the money they help out in various other ways, such as supporting younger pupils from the primary school to attend the bank, taking books back to pupils and staff that have been unable to attend the bank and asking the office to announce that the bank is open.
Each week the school chooses different pupils to help out.
St Gwladys Primary School. Bargoed
Working with Smart Money Cymru Credit Union, the children run a savings club as part of their entrepreneurship programme to develop their money skills with a real-life activity.
One of the teachers oversees the running of the service point that is run by the children providing support when needed.
The school service point runs on a Wednesday morning at 8:45am by teams of four of the Year 6 children, who collect the money, fill out receipts of payments via the individual passbooks and total up the amount by the end of the designated time.
They setup a pay-point just inside the school doors for visibility, to encourage children, parents and the teachers to join and contribute as they walk into the school.
The pupils develop many skills from communication and problem solving to customer service and numeracy.