Description of the programme
The Family Fortunes (FF) programmes specifically targeted disadvantaged families with English as an Additional Language (EAL) and who had children aged between 7-11, who wanted help and advice to make their money go further.
Six pilot programmes were developed and delivered in Birmingham. Based on this pilot work, Campaign for Learning (CfL) provided a series of one-day training events for 85 tutors and ongoing support to 22 Family Learning (FL) tutors to deliver 36 FF programmes in late 2017/early 2018.
Researchers also evaluated 31 other FL programmes, which acted as a control group. Courses took place across England in five two-hour sessions, with the majority taking place in primary school classrooms. There were over 600 participants.
TThe primary research question was:
- What are the changes in the financial capability outcomes (attitudes, knowledge, skills) and the financially capable behaviours experienced by parents with EAL and their children after their participation in the FF programme?
The evaluation of the FF project was carried out by University College London and used a mixed methods approach. The quantitative methods consisted of two surveys with both parents and children, which were administered by tutors at the baseline and post-intervention.
The evaluation also included:
- Classroom observations;
- FF tutor qualitative surveys;
- Parent interviews including follow up interviews between four to seven months post-intervention.
Tutors’confidence and ability to deliver the FF programmes:
- The training and ongoing support gave tutors the confidence, knowledge and skills to teach effective financial capability programmes.
- Tutors felt well prepared and were given the tools and resources to deliver the FF programmes successfully.
- Two-thirds of the tutors rated the training day as being ‘excellent’, while most of the remainder rated it as ‘very good’.
Parents’ financial capability and behaviours:
- 98% of parents with EAL had changed how they dealt with money.
- Half of parents with EAL experienced a positive change in at least one area of specific financial knowledge.
- 45% of parents experienced positive changes in their confidence when finding financial information online.
- 64% of parents with EAL on FF courses experienced positive changes in their money management behaviours in one or more of eight behavioural indicators. Interviews suggest that the FF programme had a profound effect on developing knowledge and skills in money matters, with qualitative data suggesting these changes were maintained in the medium/long-term.
Parents’ confidence, knowledge and ability to support their children’s financial capabilities:
- Almost half (45%) of parents with EAL talked more often about financial matters with their children after attending FF courses.
- Qualitative data revealed that many more parents were involving their children more in money matters.
Children’s understanding of money:
- 64% of children with EAL said the programme helped them a lot with regards learning about money.
- 48% of the parents agreed that their participation in FF courses had had a great impact on their children’s knowledge of money management.
- The greatest positive change happened in how often children with EAL decide to save up to buy something special (33%), the frequency of them checking their change (30%), and how often they talked to their parents about the costs of things (30%).
Areas of the FF programme that worked well:
- Most parents (73%) thought the course should have been longer.
- Almost all participants (95%) said they would recommend it to another parent.
- Provision was particularly effective for ESOL learners when classes contained additional support from a second practitioner for learners with less developed language skills.
Areas that need developing:
- There was some confusion amongst parents and schools about what FF was about, and what it was trying to achieve.
- Some schools were reluctant to release children, particularly as they were at KS2, for shared activities with parents as a part of the FF programmes.
- Some courses had problems with technology, which is an integral part of the FF programme. CfL will develop additional guidance for tutors to conduct a pre-course digital audit, including assessing issues of connectivity.
Points to consider
Methodological strengths and limitations:
- Though the authors express concern at the relatively low bases, statistical testing was employed which lends greater robustness to the results.
- Follow up interviews to assess the impact of the programme took place at different time points.
- This report is relevant to all stakeholders, charities and policymakers with an interest in financial education interventions among disadvantaged parents and children, and particularly those looking to commission or facilitate interventions aimed at people with English as a second language.
Some of the findings could potentially be generalised to the wider population as indicative of ‘what works’ among this target group.