STUDENTS are set to become economic whizz kids after a North-East college was picked to become a Centre of Excellence in financial education.

Education chiefs at Sunnydale Community College, in Shildon, in County Durham, have joined forces with UK financial education charity Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg).

The ground breaking join up at the Middridge Lane-based college also involves high street banking giant Santander.

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Staff at the college will work with pfeg’s educational specialists to create a programme of financial education for students.

The finished scheme will be integrated into the curriculum of the college which is already a specialist maths and computing school.

Pfeg has 14-years experience in delivering financial education and its staff will support the teachers in Shildon.

Headteacher Sue Byrne said: “It’s our job to prepare our students for life and this new work to embed financial education into our curriculum will play a big part in that.

“Managing your personal finances is one of those day-to-day skills we all need.

“We’re pleased to be taking part in this programme to become a pfeg Centre of Excellence, and we’re looking forward to seeing the positive difference it will make to our students.”

Sunnydale is one of 40 schools and colleges across the country which is set to benefit from pfeg’s expertise.

It is hoped that staff at Sunnydale will share their expertise with other schools in the area.

Tracey Bleakley, pfeg chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the college has joined our Centre of Excellence programme through our partnership with Santander.

“The work that staff will be doing with our educational specialists over the coming months will be of enormous benefit to students.

“Financial education is set to be firmly embedded into the curriculum.

“Our aim is to ensure that all students enter adult life with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage money well.”

Stephen Irish, regional manager at Santander, said: “We believe it is important for everyone to have good basic money management skills particularly young people.

“We recognise that teaching young people requires specialist delivery and we’re pleased to be funding the Centres of Excellence programme.

“It offers a tailored programme designed by education experts.”