Delivering financial education in Irish schools

Research proves that financial education is key to financial well-being throughout life. 

Where good money habits are discussed and taught in school, the benefits of this can support people later in life make informed financial decisions. Those decisions include better saving habits, avoiding expensive debt and having sufficient money put aside for retirement. 

In its most recent report; Financial Capability and Well-being in 2018, the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) identify a clear link between financial education and life-long financial well-being. 

But long before the most recent CCPC report, MoneyWhizz, in conjunction with Bank of Ireland have been promoting an innovative financial education programme into primary schools across Ireland. 

The Bank of Ireland Talking Cents with Ollie programme is a financial education magazine developed for children aged 7 to 12. It is available free of charge to schools across the Republic of Ireland. To date, five editions of the special financial education magazine have been produced and delivered to schools across the 26 counties. 

In 2016, Laura Lynch, Director of Consumer Segments and Propositions at Bank of Ireland led the collaboration with MoneyWhizz to develop a cutting edge financial education programme for Irish children. 

What most people may not know is how significant the age of seven really is when it comes to financial education. 

According to a 2013 body of research from the UK, children from as young as age three develop an ‘awareness’ of money and by age seven, can develop money habits that can last a lifetime” said Mr. Frank Conway, Founder of MoneyWhizz, the financial education initiative.

Our goal was to reach out to kids and look for the best way to educate them about money, but in a fun and challenging way” said Mr. Conway. 

Talking Cents with Ollie – the money magazine for kids from Bank of Ireland incorporates a range of teaching methods and since launch, now includes a range of teacher-led features. These include critical thinking,  word focus, class discussion and take-home exercises. 

To date, almost 600 schools and over 35,000 children have received their free copy of Talking Cents with Ollie, which has been made possible through generous support of Bank of Ireland. The latest edition (Issue 5) focuses on the important topic of earning income and jobs that adults do to earn money. 

We didn’t set out to simply tell students about how money works. We set out to inform them about ways they can make money work for them” said Ms. Laura Lunch  “This is the key objective of the Talking Cents programme; to get kids to think critically about money.”

In addition to the primary school financial education programme, MoneyWhizz and Bank of Ireland have also developed financial education material for secondary schools, including specific content for both Junior and Senior Cycle students. Material includes: 

  • Personal credit reports – what they are and how they can have a major life impact
  • Inflation and investing
  • Understanding pay and how to read a payslip
  • How compound interest works both to our advantage and disadvantage
  • How to plan and save
  • How to manage money
  • And much more! 

Similar to the primary schools material, there is no advertising or commercial promotion and all of the material development is led by MoneyWhizz and aligned to global best practice. 

We focus on the key pillars of personal finance, those everyday issues that people face when they go out to work. We examine issues of earning, saving, spending, investing, budgeting, money management, needs and wants, the forces that entice us to spend, good and bad credit and how to manage money. It’s a very comprehensive financial education programme” said Mr. Conway. 

To view the Talking Cents with Ollie programme, you can view some of the recent editions HERE

Schools looking to sign up for either the primary schools programme or secondary schools programme can do so by contacting Bank of Ireland at  


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