PUPILS at a Worcester primary school will be able to save money through their own official school bank after it opened this week.
Youngsters from Dines Green Primary School have been trained to run the bank from their Tudor Way school in conjunction with banking giant HSBC.
The school bank is part of an idea to help encourage children to think about money and budgeting and learn skills that will help them in their future lives.
The school's assistant head Lee Dunn said: "I think we are the first school in Worcester to have a school bank like this.
"It's looking to the future.
"We believe school is all about preparing for future life. Opportunities like this will only enhance that for our children.
"We were thinking about how we would look at financial education for children in school especially with it being key with the financial instability all around us.
"We contacted HSBC and Ann Lowe who is their financial advisor got in touch."
The bank enables the children to open an official savings account with HSBC and provides them with a bank book they can use to deposit or withdraw money in school or at an HSBC branch.
However, the school bank will be run by the children themselves taking on roles such as branch manager and records officer. A member of HSBC staff will come to the school to support them every two weeks.
Mr Dunn said: "The children had to go through a real-life training programme.
"They had to apply for jobs, write letters of application and go through an interview process.
"Ten of them were selected to represent the HSBC school bank.
"They received training from the HSBC staff and every two weeks we will run the bank and the children will manage it with an adult supervising."
On the opening day, 44 children from key stage 2 opened accounts and the school hopes to increase this to 50 within the next few weeks - the equivalent of roughly half of the children in key stage 2.
Mr Dunn said: "It was quite exciting because it's real.
"We were talking about what they could do with their savings and how saving a little bit and often will make a big difference to them.
"It's educating them to be responsible for the future."
Mr Dunn said the school and HSBC believe the idea will become more popular in Worcester as financial education in schools become seen as increasingly important.