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Sittingbourne children set to be quids in with new bank at Murston Junior School inspired by Kent Savers Credit Union

By Hayley Robinson

Children are set to be quids in... when a Sittingbourne primary school gets its own bank.

Year 5 pupils at Murston Junior School are having training to run the facility when it launches in September.

Pupils will be given the opportunity to set up their own savings account which they can then pay in and withdraw money from using a passbook.

The Bishop of Dover, The Rt Rev Trevor Wilmott, with Alyssa, Rhiannon, Paulina and Rhys, all 10, at Muston Junior School which is setting up a bank

The finer details on if adults can put their money in and whether or not it will pay interest are still being worked out.

The school was inspired to set it up after nearby All Saint's became the first church in the county to establish a community bank.

It was created by Kent Savers Credit Union (KSCU) to provide struggling families with loans and savings accounts.

The system, which was launched in 2010 to provide affordable financial services, allows members to pay into a not-for-profit organisation which then invests cash and lends it back when in need.

As credit unions cannot legally charge more than 26.8% interest annually, it is hoped it will tempt people away from taking out payday loans, some of which have rates of more than 5,000%.

Muston Junior School, in Sunny Bank, is setting up a bank

The Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Trevor Wilmott, visited the site in Sunny Bank to speak to the children, staff and head teacher Patricia Hatt about the plans.

He said: "These are such exciting and important developments and I am delighted to hear how the children have been so involved with developing ideas around their bank."

The Rev Lesley Jones, assistant curate at All Saint's Church, said: "I recently came to give an assembly at the school and I asked if any of the children knew an adult who was worried about money or debt. It was quite shocking to see that nearly every hand went up.

"That moment helped reinforce for all of us involved just how important the presence of the bank will be in the school, and how useful the supporting lessons will be in helping the children improve their own understanding of money and how to manage it better.

"They will also be doing balance sheets, adding up, writing in bank books and handling money so they will learn life skills too."

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