A SCHOOL has teamed up with a bank for a new project designed to help children appreciate the value of money.

Barnard Castle Preparatory School became the only HSBC branch in the town after lifting the shutters on a pop-up bank run by and for pupils.

Children opened savings accounts and deposited cash with classmates who had been appointed branch and marketing managers, as well as an audit controller, all trained by a team from HSBC Darlington.

Pupils will learn how banks work and about budgeting, credit, the various ways to pay, keeping finances safe and the difference between need and want.

They will also be able to develop savings habits by making regular deposits when the school bank is open for business.

HSBC primary school lead Lindsey Hare said: “This is the first school in the North-East to open a bank and we are so excited.

“In an increasingly digital world, money is becoming invisible to children making it harder for them to grasp the concept of cash.

"We will be working with pupils, teachers and parents to build knowledge and familiarity of the world of money.”

Barnard Castle Preparatory School Headmistress Laura Turner said: “An appreciation of the value of money is a vital life skill which is never too early to learn.

“The children who are trained to operate the bank are taking their responsibilities very seriously and the project has sparked huge interest in the banking sector which could one day lead to a career.”

The project is part of the HSBC’s School Bank Community Programme, one of the UK’s longest running financial education initiatives.

At Barnard Castle School, senior students, aged 11 to 18, staff and parents will also be offered the chance to take part in a range of HSBC financial wellbeing and fraud awareness workshops. Topics will include financial planning from post-secondary school to retirement, how to spot a fraud and the risks of inadvertently becoming a money-mule for criminals.