Samantha Godden, Manager of Community and Outreach - Financial Capability at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, shares how their work to evaluate the Lessons in Financial Education Programme is supporting their commitment to improve the improve the impact of financial capability programmes across the sector. 

The London Institute of Banking & Finance are excited to be involved in the Money Advice Service (MAS) CYP financial capability evaluation cohort, improving financial capability for the sector.  These impact principles are one of the main drivers of our Community and Outreach Strategic Plan, which aims to reach out to the most vulnerable children and young people with basic money management skills.  Alison Pask, Managing Director of Financial Capability and Community Outreach represents us on the Steering Group for Children and Young People, and we recognise the huge benefits of ensuring one voice in promoting Financial Capability Education.

The right time and project

This project came at the right time for us as we were launching our new Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) foundation programme.  We have developed LiFE to be more accessible to a wider audience, covering both traditional (schools and colleges where learning needs fit around restricted timetables) and non-traditional learning environments in the heart of each community. LiFE is an online self-study programme that removes the need for an expert to teach it. Given this new learning direction, LiFE was a perfect project for us to evaluate differently, using the new Financial Capability Evaluation Toolkit

Over the last ten years, we have measured our impact by the success of our student’s examination performance.  With LiFE, we want to measure a lot more, such as learners’ behaviour – recording their attitudes to each topic and how confident they feel before and after each section.   

A new standard

The practical tools and support provided by MAS and The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) were helpful. For example, the step-by-step guide to creating a theory of change was a useful reference tool, and identifying the characteristics and context for LiFE in this way (with help from TSIP colleagues) was a different approach for us.

The toolkit’s learning outcomes framework provides an endless, sometimes overwhelming, pool of resources: enabling us to search by age range and map these learning outcomes against the LiFE learning outcomes.  As part of the project, we’ve produce a LiFE learners’ survey to capture any change in behaviour once learners complete the LiFE programme.  The framework provided a useful benchmark and allows us to demonstrate further the validity of our programmes.  As a provider of Financial Capability Qualifications, we welcome this ‘standard’ and the consistency it promotes across the sector.

Innovation across the sector

Our next steps are to share what we have learnt from this project internally with colleagues and work together to see how we can adopt a different shared set of measures, with the toolkit as a useful guide to evaluate the impact of other Financial Capability programmes.  We look forward to seeing what works for our fellow cohort members and how we together present our findings in an innovative way to stakeholders and the wider sector.  

This blog is also available to read via the Financial Capability website