Credit Union Project: Academic Session 2012/13

Credit Union Project: Academic Session 2012/13
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Project Overview
Students working with 1st Alliance on project launch
The Credit Union project is a partnership between James Watt Collegeand 1st Alliance Credit Union, both based in Kilwinning, NorthAyrshire. Additionally we have secured the support of ‘YoungScot’, who have agreed to support our project launch, as well as have us as a designated points provider for the YoungScot card rewards initiative. Points will be awarded for opening a savings account and further points will be awarded for students who reach savings milestones.
The project has also been entered for the Money for Life challenge
The launch date, supported by YoungScot, will be on Friday November 9th
Follow the project on Twitter @JWCMoney1
The project has been initiated in response to several key
indicators, namely:
To address the four capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)
To address the lack of financial literacy among 16-19 yr. olds
To provide the opportunity for learners to engage in a social enterprise activity.
Responding to the Scottish Government Financial Inclusion Team’s discussion paper, ‘Achieving Better Co-Ordination in Scotland’, August 2010. An extract from the report highlights the important part that Scotland’s education system can contribute:
Education – Financial
education in schools is key. Attitudes about money are formed young and schools have an opportunity to lay robust foundations Financial capability is now being embedded in the numeracy strand of Curriculum for Excellence; and Learning and Teaching Scotland will shortly be publishing a Framework and Delivery Plan for Financial Education. There is a strong link between literacy, numeracy and financial capability and money is a relevant context for learning by children and adults. Community learning an development partnerships, led by Local Authorities, can offer learning opportunities and support for individuals and groups that meets their needs”.
What do we mean by financial capability? (‘Achieving Better Co-Ordination in Scotland’, August
Drawing on a range of definitions of the components of financial capability, this paper uses a definition of financial capability developed in the accompanying Financial Capability Evidence Review:
• The motivation to efficiently manage finances and effect change.
• Day-to-day management of finances, for example effective budgeting and use of a bank account.
• Planning ahead for retirement, other life transitions and unexpected events for example by saving.
• Efficient selection of financial products and the ability to understand these products, for example by comparing repayment costs before taking a loan, and
• Knowing where, and how, to seek appropriate financial advice.
There is more discussion about the definition of financial capability and related terms such as financial education, learning an literacy in the Financial Capability Evidence Review, published alongside this paper.
At a basic level, a financially capable person will be able to:
• Understand bank statements, bills,payslips and other basic financial records.
• Understand the implications of borrowing money and that it must be paid back, usually with interest.
• Use cash and non-cash methods of payment.
• Manage a day to day budget and prioritise essential and non-essential spending.
• Understand why we pay tax and national insurance and how this affects wages.
• Understand percentages and how interest rates have an impact on the amount of money borrowed or saved.
• Seek advice when needed, knows where to go to get it and has the confidence to ask.
The recession and other changes in the economy, demography, labour market and society mean that the financial decisions people face are constantly increasing in complexity, requiring ever-greater skill to evaluate options.
Competition between financial institutions is fierce and they are constantly innovating in order to sell more products. Individuals need the skills, knowledge, and confidence to compare products and services.
Curriculum for Excellence

Successful learners

  • The bespoke course includes the use of , a Royal Bank of Scotland scheme designed to improve financial literacy and promote independent living.
  • The following SQA Unit is integrated into the design and delivery of the project: Financial Services: Personal Finance Awareness DM7X 11 (Intermediate 2)
  • Learners are charged with the organisation, management, marketing and operation of the Credit Union with support from tutors and Credit Union Staff.

Confident Individuals

  • Learners are encouraged through activities, research and exposition to fully understand the implications of financial exclusion, the relationship between the lack of financial literacy and social deprivation.
  • The Credit Union ethos is built on community cohesion and civic responsibility
  • The co-operative spirit of the Credit Union is emulated by the independence of the student cohort in developing appropriate strategies for success.

Responsible citizens

  • Ethical issues are explored through the examination of the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Learners are encouraged, through research and activities, to examine the financial, social and ethical issues that relate to financial products made available to the citizens of Scotland.

Effective Contributors

  • Learners work independently on all aspects of the Social Enterprise activity.
  • An oversight committee monitors all activities of the project. Membership includes four learners, two JWC staff and a representative of 1st Alliance.
  • Learners work on sub-projects, including the use of social media in marketing and promotion.


1 thought on “Credit Union Project: Academic Session 2012/13

  1. Caroline Breyley

    I’m a volunteer with our very new community credit union. We are very keen to link with all of our LA schools and this is a great project for giving us ideas of ways forward! I look forward to sharing it with our committee and other volunteers and seeing how the project develops.

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