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Our commitment to financial literacy and education

4 September 2015

The Commonwealth Bank has a strong track record of providing widely respected financial education programs for more than 80 years. Our financial education programs include Start Smart, School Banking and Teaching Awards.

School Banking

Our School Banking program has been teaching children lifelong money and saving skills for more than 80 years. The program is offered on an opt-in basis to both schools and parents.

The main purpose of our School Banking program is to provide young children with a basic understanding of core financial values and money management skills - to help them take their first steps towards good money management and regular savings behaviour.

We believe a financially literate community leads to a more prosperous society so it is crucial for children to develop skills and capability from an early age.

Our School Banking program is supported by an overwhelming number of parents, schools and participants, and we’re proud to stand behind the values of the program.

We offer schools incentives to recognise their contribution to administering the program.

Start Smart

Start Smart is an award-winning free financial educational program that provides engaging and interactive workshops, run by expert facilitators, to primary, secondary and VET students. Workshops cover age-appropriate concepts mapped to school curriculum.

Developed by educational and behavioural change experts, the program does not promote Commonwealth Bank products or services.

The Start Smart workshops are supported by comprehensive curriculum-mapped resources for teachers, including lesson plans, videos and animations as well as interactive lessons, all of which provide both the stimulus and framework to make learning about money both creative and fun.

The program has been evaluated by the Australian Centre for Educational Research (ACER) and in all eight categories there was a positive impact and an educationally significant impact in six of these – see the Start Smart Impact Report for more detail.

Teaching Awards

The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards recognise and reward extraordinary teachers from schools across Australia who are committed to developing their students’ essential money management skills.

We believe that better schools make a better country, and great schools are built on great teachers. The Teaching Awards celebrate and recognise excellent teachers who inspire and work hard to build students’ money management skills, helping them towards a more financially independent future.

There are 15 awards of $10,000 for each teacher to invest in their school's financial education program. In addition, each winning teacher receives a personal reward of $2,000.

In conclusion

Our vision is to secure the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities and that means investing in the workforce of the future. We are in a unique position to use our capabilities and resources to make a positive contribution beyond our core business.

We are committed to improving the financial literacy of young Australians and in January 2015 we announced a $50m dollar investment in our financial literacy programs over the next three years. In June 2015, we announced a partnership with Social Ventures Australia on a teaching toolkit that offers free, simple and accessible research on different teaching methods.