WHEN, last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury proposed a
national network of primary-school savings clubs, with C of E
schools in the vanguard, he might have heard a loud "Amen" from
Tulse Hill, south London. There, at Holy Trinity C of E Primary
School, a junior savings club has been flourishing for seven
Since it started, about 100 of the school's 420 pupils have
joined the club. Every Tuesday, Jacky Sutcliffe, the community
worker at Holy Trinity near by, is at the school by 8.30 a.m. -
often helped by a couple of Year 6 "apprentices" - to take the cash
and fill in the savers' bank books for amounts that can vary
between 20 pence and £5. Often on hand is Abana Bio-Genfi, who had
children at the school, and now has a grandchild there. She has
supported the scheme since it started.
Later that morning, Mrs Sutcliffe pays in the morning's haul at
the Brixton branch of the London Mutual Credit Union, which
encourages junior savers by paying them a kids-only dividend (this
year, it is five per cent) on their accounts. Some of the children,
she says, are saving with a goal in mind, for Christmas or for
holidays, while others just like seeing their balance grow.
"Our children are really eager to save, and it's a good habit to
get into," the deputy head, Lorran Black, says.
The head, Lascelles Haughton, sees understanding money as a
basic life-skill, essential to Christian stewardship. Last month,
the school ran an enterprise week. Each class was given £20, and
was asked to use it wisely. The most enterprising made a profit of
The club was one of three started in schools as an offshoot of
the community work at Holy Trinity, but is the only one that has
been successful in the long term. The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the
Revd Richard Dormandy, is also a governor at the school.
The church is a centre for Christians Against Poverty (CAP), and
runs a CAP-backed debt-relief scheme. At any one time, between 50
and 70 clients are taking part in the relief scheme, Mr Dormandy
says; over the past four years, he has seen 35 clients become
He hopes that taking part in the junior savings club will ensure
that some children never get into debt in the first place.