The Scottish government has added £85,000 funding to its credit union school project, which sets up saving schemes in schools and teaches children to manage money.
In a recent Scottish Parliament debate, cabinet secretary Aileen Campbell announced a second extension to the scheme, taking it to September 2019.
It has now created 58,000 junior savers in Scotland and she said: “We want to build on that good work.”
The extension “will enable even more children to engage with a credit union and learn about the importance of saving and managing money”, she added.
“We are currently evaluating the junior savers programme and drawing out the key learning, as we identify longer-term steps in relation to this important work.”
Ms Campbell said the government wanted to keep working with the credit union sector, which covers 7.7% of the Scottish population.
The MSPs were debating a motion to celebrate the role of credit unions in Scotland’s communities. An amendment by Scottish Labour called on the Scottish government to do more to promote the value of payroll deductions among employers and increase awareness of credit unions in schools as part of a broader programme to build financial capability. The Scottish government backed the amendment.
Labour MSP Alex Rowley said: “Educating children about the benefits of credit unions means that we can set up a future in which poverty is reduced and children have a better understanding of money and budgeting. I am glad that the government supports that point in our amendment.”
Abcul’s policy officer for Scotland, Karen Hurst, said: “We’re really pleased the Scottish government is recognising the valuable work by credit unions in promoting financial education amongst young people. Aside from this announcement, the Scottish government have also committed to looking at what else they can do to grow the sector in Scotland, and we a really looking forward to working with the cabinet secretary, in how new role, to achieve this.”