The King James I Academy in Bishop Auckland has launched its own building society thanks to a unique partnership with the Darlington Building Society.
The Academy Building Society will be open twice a week during lunch times and will be overseen by a group of students who have received training from Darlington Building Society to manage and run their own mini-branch.
To encourage King James students to use the mini-branch, Darlington Building Society will credit every account with £5 as part of its High-5 promotion. To qualify for the promotion students must make at least five separate deposits of at least £1, following which the additional £5 will be added.
The mini-branch will offer many of the services of a regular building society, even allowing students to withdraw a maximum of £10.
Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer at Darlington Building Society, said: “When King James I Academy approached Darlington Building Society to ask if we could provide a savings scheme at the school we were only too happy to offer our support. We hope that the students will see this as the exciting venture that it is.
“It’s often said that people should be taught how to manage their finances whilst they are still at school, so this is an excellent opportunity for all of the students to learn how a building society branch is run.
“We want to instil in them the importance of saving, which is why we decided to boost the accounts with an additional £5; to show students that regularly saving even relatively small amounts can pay dividends in the end.”
Katie Lobb, Director of Learning for Business at King James I Academy, said: “The Academy is committed to helping our students develop life skills that extend beyond the classroom. We are really excited to be opening our own branch of Darlington Building Society which will be managed by a group of Year 9 students. Our aim is to instil good savings habits from an early age and develop money management skills in preparation for their financial futures.”