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Young bankers

17 October 2014

IT WAS the first community bank to be housed in a church in Canterbury diocese. Now Murston Community Bank, which is in partnership with the Kent Savers Credit Union, has opened a branch in Murston Junior School, Sittingbourne. On 1 October, the whole school gathered to celebrate its official opening by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, and began the proceedings by singing "Together we are one".

The bank will be open two days a week, and will be run by Year 6 pupils (aged ten to 11). Every pupil in the school will have an account with his or her own specially designed passbook, which bears the school logo. Besides being able to deposit real money, the pupils will also be able to earn "Murston money"as part of a new reward scheme for the school. When they leave, it will be exchanged for pounds and pence, and transferred into their bank account ready for secondary school.

Not only will the children have the practical experience of their own bank account: the head teacher, Patricia Hatt, has ensured that financial matters and the importance of good money-management will be in the curriculum. "I am convinced that the presence of the bank in the school, and the skills and knowledge our pupils will gain from the whole experience will prove invaluable to them as they make their way through life," she says.

This was endorsed by the Bishop, who congratulated the school on the opening of its bank: "Learning how banking works is a very important part of money education - great to hear that you are doing it with a credit union.From today, everyone who receives a Murston Junior School bank account, or discusses finance in class, has been given the chance to break the cycle of debt, and the bad messages passed on about money. Good luck to you all, and well done to everyone involved."

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