Policy managers Zoe Renton and David Marjoribanks share six pilots funded by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to test scalable ways to build financial wellbeing.
Children and Young People Pathfinders: testing the delivery of financial education at scale
Our £1.8m Children and Young People (CYP) Pathfinder programme tests the delivery of financial education at scale across the UK.
Each of the pathfinders focuses on addressing unmet need and using financial education approaches that are known to improve children and young people’s money skills, knowledge and behaviours. Findings will support the delivery of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing goal to ensure two million more children and young people receive a meaningful financial education, by providing potential models for scaling-up delivery at home, in schools and in the community.
1. Preparing 16-17 year olds in England for independent living
This pathfinder is testing the delivery at scale of financial education workshops to help at least 10,000 young people prepare for independence. We will test a variety of delivery routes – expert-led, trainer-led and teacher-led learning in schools and non-school settings – to achieve specific financial capability outcomes. The pathfinder is being delivered by a consortium of organisations led by MyBnk, including Young Money, The Money Charity, Royal Association for the Deaf, Learn By Design and Trust Impact.
2. Supporting parents to teach their children about money in Northern Ireland and Scotland
Building on the successful pilot of Talk, Learn Do in Wales, these pathfinders are testing how we can ensure parents and carers are able to teach their own children about money. The pathfinder will deliver Talk Learn Do training to at least 500 practitioners, giving them the tools they need to build financial education into the support they already offer parents. In Northern Ireland, the pathfinder is being delivered by Reed in Partnership and IFF Research. Campaign for Learning is leading a consortium to deliver the pathfinder in Scotland, with Children in Scotland, One Parent Family and Scotcen.
3. Giving teachers in Wales the confidence and skills to deliver high-quality financial education
This pathfinder is testing the delivery of financial education teacher training, both face-to-face and e-learning. The programme will help teachers to strengthen the financial education they offer and to identify how learning about money can help children and young people achieve in the context of the new Curriculum for Wales. Delivered by Young Money in partnership with local authority consortia, the work will seek to embed financial education training and resources within regional school improvement and teacher professional learning systems.
The Covid-19 pandemic, and associated school and other service closures, have led to some changes to the delivery of the pathfinders. However, we continue to work with partners to ensure we reach children, young people, parents and teachers when they need us most, and to test the effectiveness of these financial education programmes at scale.
The pathfinders will be delivered until Summer 2021, with the publication of evaluation reports later that year.
To find out more about the CYP Pathfinders, or MaPS’ wider work to improve the provision of financial education, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working Age Savings and Credit Pathfinders
MaPS’ Working Age Savings and Credit Pathfinder Programme set out to build the evidence for how to help the 11.1 million working-age people in the ‘financially struggling’ and ‘financially squeezed’ segments who don’t save regularly, and the 9 million people who use credit to buy everyday essentials.
Based on the best available evidence – including an academic evidence review – and through extensive consultation with stakeholders in late 2018 and early 2019, we developed an outcomes-based commissioning model. Our intention was to test potentially scalable ways of embedding financial wellbeing support for target groups within existing support systems, focused on two outcomes: helping people build an emergency savings buffer and helping people to manage credit use and reduce reliance on credit for everyday essentials.
We sought to test three models intended to achieve these outcomes:
- Youth Checkpoints – embedding multi-channel money information and guidance for young adults at key moments of transition towards financial independence within employability and independent living systems and services.
- Money Supporters – training holistic frontline practitioners who support and are trusted by vulnerable groups, to enhance their confidence and competence to address money issues and act as money supporters, talking to beneficiaries about and understanding their money issues, helping with general information, and signposting to appropriate sources of guidance and advice.
- Local Community Partnerships – enhancing coordinated working between local community organisations to improve local struggling and squeezed people’s awareness of available support, enhance access to support, and embed financial capability support alongside other holistic support to reach people in need.
We made available funding for 12 pilots, each up to £100k, to co-design and test these models across the UK, with each of the three models tested in each part of the UK.
4. Youth Checkpoints
- Scotland: Young Scot, College Development Network and Fast Forward worked together to co-design and deliver a dedicated digital information campaign Money & Me, to provide information for young adults in Scotland, with social media content targeted at young people, and with young adults’ participation incentivised via the Young Scot Membership platform. They delivered a series of webinars as well as videos with Young Money blogger and influencer Iona Bain. Young Scot will maintain the Money & Me campaign platform and keep the content up-to-date until at least March 2021.
- England: MyBnk and The Mix worked together to co-design and deliver new expert-written money information and guidance content for The Mix’s existing online information platform and develop an interactive triage tool to assess young people’s needs and suggest appropriate solutions, an online adaptation of MyBnk’s Money Works financial education course, and a text-based ‘nudge’ service to encourage users to achieve financial goals. The money information and guidance content will be maintained for a further 12 months beyond the end of the pilot, and is available at themix.org.uk/money.
- Wales: Promo Cymru and Youth Cymru worked together to co-design and prototype solutions for practitioners aiming to equip them with knowledge and resources to help them support young people with money issues. They tested a helpline service which practitioners could refer young people to, financial capability training for practitioners to support young people on financial capability, and an accessible website with a curated set of resources and tools for practitioners to use with young people.
- Northern Ireland: Reed in Partnership worked with Polar Insights to co-design and deliver a social media campaign and a website featuring money advice topics, webchat guidance and signposting, a directory of local and national services for use by both young people and practitioners, and a train-the-trainer course for practitioners.
5. Money Supporters
- England: Shelter co-designed and tested e-learning and webinar training with practitioners working with offenders, ex-offenders and their families in a variety of roles within custody and in the community, including Shelter staff and volunteers (including Advice, Support and Guidance/Resettlement Workers, Supervisors, Peer mentors, Peer Support Officers, Prison Group Work Facilitators) and partner services (including: Community and custody-based service providers (Changing Lives, PACT, Health and drug and alcohol services), Probation staff and volunteers, prison staff and volunteers, including Prison Officers.
- Scotland: Shelter Scotland co-designed and tested e-learning for practitioners in the supported housing sector across multiple locations and a range of partner organisations: Action group’s housing and community support service; Blue Triangle Housing Association’s supported accommodation homelessness services; Carr Gomm’s housing support, mental health and supported living services; CrossReach’s substance misuse, homelessness, mental health, and criminal justice adult support services, and Penumbra’s supported accommodation services and crisis and 1st response services.
- Wales: Hafal co-designed and tested training for frontline mental health practitioners working with individuals with mental health problems from a range of services across including accommodation services, training and education programmes, carers support programmes, and an inpatient unit.
- Northern Ireland: NIACRO and Advice NI worked together to deliver training to practitioners supporting families with a family member in prison in NIACRO’s Family and Children’s Services, to support them to have conversations about money issues with parents they support. They also recruited parent peer supporters from their service users and delivered training to these parents to support them to provide support to other parents.
6. Local Community Partnerships
- England: Birmingham City Council worked with a range of local partner agencies (including Citysave and Advance Credit Unions, Spitfire Advice & Support Services, Smartltye community training, Narthex Sparkhill community organisation, Ashiana Community Project, Lymer & Associated research consultancy, and the England Illegal Money Lending Team) to co-design and deliver a range of activities including data mapping of financial capability services to better target future services, B2B promotion of payroll savings via credit unions, 1-2-1 financial literacy workshops and advice sessions, financial capability community engagement events and radio broadcasts, and support interventions with individuals to enhance access to affordable credit.
- Scotland: The Improvement Service and North Lanarkshire Council worked with local agencies including NHS Lanarkshire, Scotwest & Lanarkshire Credit Unions, Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, Remploy and Advance Construction Scotland to co-design and deliver a range of activities including employee engagement events, payroll deduction promotion, tenant engagement activities, face-to-face workshops with lone parents, and activities to embed financial capability support into employment and learning programmes.
- Northern Ireland: Newry Credit Union worked with Community Advice Newry Mourne & Down and the Confederation of Community Groups to co-design and deliver a range of activities including deployment of a new Community Navigator practitioner to support local people to access appropriate support, assessing needs, and signposting to support, promotion of the credit union and supporting people to open accounts, referral to advice and support, and engagement of community organisations and employers to target potential beneficiaries.
- Wales: Unfortunately due to the impact of Covid-19 on the council, this project had to close.
We also funded a programme evaluation to help us understand and learn from the process of setting up, co-designing, delivering and adapting these projects, and the challenges, success factors and potential scalability, so as to inform future and larger-scale commissioning planning. The evaluation is due to complete by the end of November 2020, and MaPS will publish the report in December.