YE Scotland to deliver financial education in schools
Hamish Buchan and Geoff Leask
Financial education to young people in Scotland is to be delivered by Young Enterprise Scotland.
It will take on the Stewart Ivory Financial Education Trust’s (SIFET) assets and activities throughout Scottish schools.
SIFET’s programme, set up in 2003, reaches more than 18,500 students across every local authority in Scotland annually.
The Trust concluded that to meet the growing needs of a larger cohort of young people, it needed to pass on its expertise to an organisation with greater resources and chose YE Scotland. Once the transfer is complete, SIFET will cease to operate.
The move will see YE Scotland take on the delivery of SIFET’s programmes to s6 pupils across more than 250 schools, supported by SIFET’s financial education officers who will operate under the YE Scotland banner.
In addition, YE Scotland will receive around £500,000 of SIFET assets which will be used to continue and extend the provision of financial education to young people throughout Scotland.
It is proposed that the SIFET offering will be integrated with YE Scotland’s own financial education and enterprise programmes stretching from primary through to secondary schools and college students.
The combination of resources, which will create one of the strongest networks for the delivery of financial education to young people, comes as Scotland looks to stimulate significant change in the education system and all policy makers across the UK are being urged to introduce the teaching of basic money skills in primary schools.
In evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, which reported earlier this year, more than half of UK teenagers have struggled with debt before their 17th birthday, with 67% of young people lacking the confidence to plan their financial future.
Those leaving school without an effective financial education are at high risk of financial abuse, fraud and debt from an early age, while the COVID-19 pandemic has also multiplied the economic pressures on young people, with 6 in 10 young people say COVID-19 has made them feel more anxious about money.
Geoff Leask, CEO of YE Scotland said: “This is a game changer for financial education for young people. The SIFET resources and depth of reach add significant value to our portfolio of resources.
“The prospect now exists to implement a new blended financial education model of delivery that ensures that financial education interventions are not delivered in isolation but through a more holistic approach that achieves a greater impact in the longer term.”
Hamish Buchan, chairman of SIFET said: “We are very proud of what SIFET has achieved since its inception in 2003 and its reach and success have been remarkable for a small organisation. This has largely been due to the generosity of our donors including in particular in recent years, Stewart Investors.
“The transfer to YE Scotland will now take the provision of financial education to young people across Scotland to a different level.
“YE Scotland’s plans for the expansion and enhancement of SIFET’s activities through integration with its own well-established and respected programmes are very exciting.
“This transaction comes at a time when financial education for young people has never been more badly needed and it presents a fantastic opportunity to combine resources to make a greater impact.”