‘We’re in money and saving’

Student bankers at University Academy Holbeach open their new HSBC school bank by taking a deposit from principal Steve Baragwanath. SG100715-105TW ANL-151107-112144001
Student bankers at University Academy Holbeach open their new HSBC school bank by taking a deposit from principal Steve Baragwanath. SG100715-105TW ANL-151107-112144001
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Students in Holbeach are in the money now their school has become the only one in Lincolnshire to have its own bank.

HSBC officially opened at the University Academy Holbeach (UAH) on Friday – just two days after the Chancellor George Osbourne announced grants for university students were to be scrapped and replaced with loans,

There’s a real buzz around the school about saving. It’s been very exciting

Jackie Hallett, head of maths

Bankers from Years 7 and 8 who had undergone a day’s training with HSBC were ready to take the students’ money during the lunchtime break, handing out balloons and free pens like you would expect from any high street promotion.

One of the first students to open a bank account was Jack Moore (13).

He said: “I’ve brought £10 and this will help me save.

“I particularly like the fact I will be able to do online banking because you have to be 16 to do that at Lloyds, where my other account is.”

The opening of the bank follows the school becoming the first and only school in Lincolnshire to become a pfeg Centre of Excellence for Maths and Finance.

The school, which is one of 25 to win the award, won due to the fact that it delivers money and finance lessons across all year groups to a high standard.

In August last year it was celebrating “massive improvements” in the GCSE pass rate for maths, with 74 per cent of the students passing the subject.

Jane Chandler, a teacher of financial education when the school received the award, said they were always looking for new ideas.

She said: “I’m so passionate about ensuring young people are financially aware.

“It’s especially important they learn to save after this week’s Budget, which will hit lower income families now the maintenance grants will become loans.”

Next week the students will have a trip to the Bank of England, when banker Grace Parnell’s auntie, Kerry Edwards, works.

Grace (12) said: “I’m really excited to be going. I think this is what I’d like to do when I leave school and I especially like filling in the slips.”

Also looking forward to the trip is head of maths Jackie Hallett. She said: “There’s a real buzz around the school about saving. It’s been very exciting.”

As well as running the bank once a week, the school also offers micro loans to people abroad who may want to develop a business to put their children through school.

Today they are also having a visit from the Illegal Money Lending Team to warn students about loan sharks.

Jane said: “We need to get the message out that loans like this can take over your life.”