Young bankers in Ashington recently had a new trainee cashier to put through his paces – the chief economist at the Bank of England.
Andy Haldane took time out from his office in Threadneedle Street, London, to visit the LifeSavers Bank at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy, which has been running for more than a year.
Each week, children can make a deposit into their account and see their savings grow.
LifeSavers is a partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and Young Enterprise, with financial support from Virgin Money and the Government.
The programme provides training and resources for teachers, offers support for school savings clubs, and encourages parental and wider community engagement.
Mr Haldane said: “The school’s bank is brilliant and the children’s pleasure and pride in running it is clear.
“Through the LifeSavers programme, they are learning about maths in an interesting way and also about money and the importance of saving for the future.”
Cashier Bobbi-Jo, said: “I really enjoy helping to run the bank.
“One of the best parts is seeing the smiles on the faces of the younger children when they find out how much they have saved.”
Mr Haldane spoke to parents at the school to find out more about how they were affected by the cost of living and heard concerns that ranged from the impact of universal credit, through to the rising cost of everyday essentials, the prevalence of loan companies and poor transport links.
He also visited Hirst Welfare Centre, where he discussed regional perspectives on the economy with students studying economics at the Academy’s sixth form, JBVI.
Sharon Cole, deputy headteacher of the Josephine Butler Primary Campus, said: “It was a real honour to welcome Mr Haldane and his colleagues to our school.
“The success of the bank is down to the children, who run it with such enthusiasm, and all our brilliant savers.”