An innovative programme,’ Milo’s Money’ is teaching children skills in handling and saving money and preventing debt. The free interactive colourful storybook has been piloted in 90 primary schools throughout the UK, thanks to The Church Urban Fund & The Just Finance Foundation (JFF). This new scheme has been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby whose vision of creating a fairer and more just financial system, led to the creation of The Just Finance Foundation (JFF) in 2013.
According to the Money and Pensions service, 5.3 million children do not get a meaningful financial education at school. Many schools and colleges would like to increase their financial education offer but are hindered by busy timetables and curriculums.
Archbishop Welby said:
Financial education should not only teach children how to spend and save, but how to approach the use of money with wisdom, generosity, justice, and thankfulness. Milo’s Money is a wonderful resource because it does just that. I hope that as many children as possible have the chance to read and learn from it.
Molly Wilkins, from Heathfield Church of England Primary School in Nottingham said:
Children rarely understand the concept of money, how people acquire it…or what things cost. Especially over this past difficult year, when many people have lost their jobs or had a reduced income, it is becoming more important that children understand the concept of money.
This free and easy-to-use interactive book introduces children to the concept of coins and seeks advice around spending, saving, and sharing. Helping children to gain in financial literacy, it is hoped that Milo’s Money will support teachers to have a resource to combat the lack of financial education tools available for Early Years learning.
‘Darren’ is a volunteer in his local church helping families experiencing financial inequality and distress over money issues. Like many others who unexpectedly fell out of work during lockdown, he became financially vulnerable and did not know where to turn. Darren said, “Due to an internet investment scam, I lost my life savings and found myself in considerable debt,’ he says. Having received help by a COVID Cash Recovery Course organised by JFF, he is now a strong advocate of the Milo’s Money scheme, seeing the benefits these life skills can bring to children and their families. “I can empathise with others,” he adds, “knowing exactly how it feels to be in debt and worried about the future.”
Sir Douglas Flint, Chair of the Just Finance Foundation, hopes Milo’s Money will be rolled out across the country:
It is essential that children are given the knowledge, skills, and values to prepare for adult life – of which managing money is one of the most important elements. Children need this more than ever following lockdown and the impact of the pandemic on their education. I know that this resource will support schools in teaching these life skills and so help prevent avoidable financial crises hitting future generations.
For more information about Milo’s Money go to www.milosmoney.co.uk
Written by: Laura Nelson