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Just Finance Foundation’s Milo’s Money pilot

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

The Children and Young People Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme was commissioned by the Money and Pensions Service in October 2020. It aimed to address gaps in the wider understanding of effective financial education by developing and evaluating new, innovative solutions, or by evaluating existing but untested interventions. The Milo’s Money programme was one of seven pilot projects funded and was one of three that focused on children under seven years.

Research (published by The Money Advice Service in 2013) suggests that adult spending habits, including the ability to plan and delay gratification, are developed by the age of seven. The study highlights the key role parents/carers and teachers can play in promoting beneficial financial behaviour.

The Milo’s Money pilot programme was designed to help prepare Early Years and Key Stage 1 children for later financial education, and to ensure that all children were able to engage in financial education in a practical way. It involved consultation work with teachers to inform the design of the programme; publication of the Milo’s Money storybook and pocket resources; the creation and launch of the Milo’s Money website; Dino Development training workshops for schools; the creation of guidance materials and over sixty unique classroom resources for teachers; and delivery to children under seven. The overall aim of the pilot was to develop a scalable proof-of-concept model to improve the financial capabilities of children under seven years. 74 schools participated.

The study

Ecorys conducted a process and outcomes project-level evaluation of Milo’s Money between January-August 2021. The evaluation aimed to investigate:

  • the extent to which taking part in Milo’s Money increased teachers’ confidence in delivering financial education
  • the outcomes achieved for teachers, parents, and children as a result of participating in Milo’s Money

The evaluation took a mixed methods approach, collecting quantitative data (via pre and post surveys with teachers and parents/carers, a children’s consultation conducted by teachers, monitoring information provided by Just Finance Foundation) and qualitative data (via virtual interviews with teachers and Just Finance Foundation stakeholders).

Key findings

Pilot implementation

  • The programme provided opportunities for children who took part to develop their knowledge and understanding of key financial concepts. Its flexible nature enabled teachers to adapt the resources developed to meet the needs of their pupils and the programme appealed to teachers with a variety of prior teaching experience.

Pilot outcomes

  • The pilot gave the project team more confidence in a remote support model, as their experience has shown that induction and support for schools does not need to take place face-to-face to be a success. This approach could assist with transferability to other settings.
  • Indicative findings suggest that some parents/carers have supported their child’s learning by using the Milo’s Money resources at home. Further evaluation activity could investigate the extent to which the resources have been or could be used for home-learning, and the impact of Milo’s Money on parent/carers’ knowledge and confidence. Long-term follow-up research could also investigate the experiences of pupils who have taken part in Milo’s Money, and whether financial literacy becomes more embedded in the schools Milo’s Money is delivered in.

Points to consider

  • Methodological strengths/weaknesses: The scope of the evaluation limited findings to short-term outcomes only.
  • It was not possible to explore outcomes for parents/carers in detail due to a low response rate.
  • Generalisability/ transferability: Feedback highlighted the potential transferability of the programme to specialist and alternative settings, such as schools for children with SEND, home-schooling, community groups, church groups and PRUs. Perceived benefits included SEND schools using Milo’s Money with older children as they felt the resources suited their pupils’ level of ability and could easily be adapted to be more age- appropriate homework tasks and home-schooling enabling positive engagement with parents/carers and increasing their awareness and confidence to start conversations with their children about money. The project team reported demonstrable interest from a range of specialist settings and potential to adapt the resources to meet the needs of these groups, although substantial additional resource would be required to achieve this.
  • Relevance: This study is relevant to anyone with an interest in financial education for young children.

Key info

Activities and setting
The Milo’s Money pilot developed and piloted a range of age-appropriate resources, which teachers could use flexibly to embed financial literacy into their delivery plans and link to any areas of the curriculum. This included a story book, game, and pull-out activities for four-to-seven-year-olds, as well as an online hub, blog, and social area for teachers. The programme evolved around a young dinosaur character called Milo, who has a lot of questions about money. The resources could also be used for homework tasks and home-schooling. enabling positive engagement with parents/carers, and increasing their awareness and confidence to start conversations with their children about money.
Programme delivered by
Just Finance Foundation
Year of publication
Contact information