A NEW community partnership by Russell Taylor Group is banking on young people learning about business from an early age.
The venture with Bishop Wilson CE Primary School in Burton Village will also help to prepare its pupils for the world of work.
Launching the initiative was the opening of the school’s bank and shop where children, using their own currency, are learning the value of saving and, by manning both operations, are being introduced to employability skills.
Peter Russell, chairman of Russell Taylor Group, whose headquarters at Burton Manor are close to the village school, said: “This is an innovative project by the school and is creating real situations for pupils by running its own bank with its own currency and having a shop where youngsters can save up to buy goods they want.
“These are valuable lessons for life and, as a major UK recruitment agency, we are looking forward to supporting the school with our knowledge and skills to help make pupils and their parents aware that it’s never too early to plan for the future.
“Working with pupils in the bank and shop venture, we will be able to introduce them to ‘real workplace’ situations like job applications, interviews, CV writing and professional training.”
At Bishop Bank, pupils can save and invest their money – using the school’s own currency of the Mitre – and buy goods at the Mere Stores with Mitres earned during term time. Mitres are earned by hard work and good deeds in the classroom.
Head teacher Suzanne Roberts explained: “The idea behind the bank and shop is to help children realise the value of money and how to manage it from a very early age.
“Mitres have to be earned by things like hard work and by showing acts of kindness and initiative. The shop has some lovely goods in it, such as stationery and novelty items, and pupils very quickly realise that to get what you want, you have to earn it. Also, if there aren’t enough Mitres in your bank account, you can’t buy what you may have set your heart on until you have saved some more.”
Parent governor Syed Rashid added: “The school bank and stores project is totally unique through business sponsorship and partnership collaboration. The concept is based on real life and it is important for our pupils to get a grasp of managing their money from a very early age.
“In fact, a study commissioned by the Money Advice Service and compiled by academics at the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that children begin to form money habits by the age of seven.
“The Bishop Wilson project is quite unique and we are hoping to roll it out to other schools and therefore take a lead in setting young people on the road to a secure future.
“Support from business professionals is paramount to the success of the venture and we are delighted that Russell Taylor Group has agreed to take an active part in its operation.”