Q and A
- What is The Stewart Ivory Financial Education Trust ('SIFET')?
Stewart Ivory runs a financial education programme which is aimed at young people, mainly S6 students, in Scotland who are about to leave school. The purpose is to enable them to become financially aware and financially capable by gaining skills to take control of their own finances as they embark on their lives, either at work or in higher education.
- Who delivers the programme?
The talks/sessions are delivered by financial education officers (FEOs), most of whom have a background either in teaching or in finance or both. Currently, there are 14 (FEOs) and they cover most of Scotland.
- Does SIFET provide teaching materials and resources for schools?
The FEOs provide handouts to students which include budgeting plans and Top Money Tips. Unlike some other providers of financial education, SIFET does not provide teaching materials to school teachers but works on the basis of FEOs delivering the messages directly to the students on a very interactive and practical basis.
- How many schools does it cover?
In the current 2014/15 academic session, we expect our FEO's to visit over 200 schools and deliver over 800 sessions to students at these schools. The number of sessions delivered at each school will depend on a number of factors including, the school timetable and the number of school leavers, in particular the S6 Year. FEOs also gave talks at universities and further education colleges during freshers weeks.
- How many students does it address?
In the 2014/15 academic session, we expect our FEO's to address around 15,000 students, most of these were either S6 students or school leavers in S5. In the past, SIFET has also delivered talks to students at universities and further education colleges.
- Why does it not cover more students and in earlier years?
SIFET was set up specifically to address S6 students because it was felt that they were not receiving adequate preparation ahead of leaving school. SIFET was not endowed with adequate funds and resources to address younger students. In some cases, these younger students are covered by other providers of financial education.
- Does it cost schools anything?
In most cases there is no charge to the school either for sessions or for travel expenses. However unless the school want SIFET to provide more than six sessions of financial education, it would ask for a financial contribution.
- How is the programme carried out and managed?
Each FEO is allocated responsibility for serving schools in a specific region, the FEO is left to contact the school and to set up visits. Typically, each FEO will visit each school three times but, this may vary depending on the size of the school. The FEOs submit monthly claims (being an honorarium and travel expenses in respect of each visit). The overall programme is administered by Paul Heward. Overall administration costs are low (c. 10% of total costs).
- Is SIFET similar to schemes run by The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Financial Education Partnership?
There are several important differences but there is at least one key common feature. They are all seeking to address to raise financial awareness of young people to give them greater confidence and capability in managing their future lives. The key differences lie in the ways that the programmes are delivered and the age groups covered through its FEO's. Stewart Ivory relies on external experts visiting schools to speak directly to students rather than providing teaching materials and resources to schools. Stewart Ivory also concentrates on S6 students and schools in Scotland.
- How is SIFET funded?
SIFET is funded entirely by charitable donations. Until 2008, its work was funded entirely by The Stewart Ivory Foundation and, then up to 2011, with funding support from a few charitable trusts. Since 2011, Stewart Ivory has received generous donations from a combination of firms, charitable trusts and individuals which have provided sufficient funds to continue this valuable work until the end of the 2015/16 academic session and is currently working to raise sufficient fundds to enable the programme to continue to 2020, at least.
- Is SIFET linked to any commercial organization?
SIFET has received financial support from several firms, mainly in the financial/investment sector, but that has not affected its marketing or the content of its modules. The Stewart Ivory Project remains independent and does not promote any specific financial or investment products.
- Is SIFET a registered charity?
We are not a registered charity but our project operates under the auspices of Foundation Scotland (Scottish Charity Registered No. SC022910), which, inter alia, administers the funds on our behalf. SIFET was registered as a Scottish Charitable incorporated Organisation, otherwise known as a SCIO (SCO45517_ in March, 2015, previously SIFET was administered by Foundation Scotland.
- If my school is interested, how can I contact SIFET?
Please contact the FEO who coveres your area (see The Team) or contact Paul Heward, Chief Executive. His details are as follows:
Office: 0131 220 5995
Mobile: 07770 444340