Q and A

  1. What is The Stewart Ivory Financial Education Trust ('SIFET')?
    SIFET runs a financial education programme which is aimed at young people, mainly S6 pupils, in Scotland who are about to leave school. The purpose is to enable them to become more financially aware and more financially capable by gaining skills to take control of their own finances and to manage their money as they embark on their lives, either at work or in higher education.

  2. 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 15 FEOs and they cover schools in most of Scotland.

  3. Does SIFET provide teaching materials and resources for schools?
    The FEOs have provided handouts to students which include budgeting plans and Young People Money Guides. Currently, SIFET is reviewing these materials and will be providing new handouts in the future. 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 senior pupils on a very interactive and practical basis.

  4. How many schools does it cover?
    In the last full academic year (2016/17), our FEOs visited 243 secondary schools and delivered 1,013 sessions (equivalent to a typical class period) at these schools. The number of sessions delivered at each school depend on a number of factors including the school timetable and the number of school leavers, in particular in the S6 Year.

  5. How many students does it address?
    In the last full academic year (2016/17),it is estimated that our FEO's addressed almost 20,000 senior pupils, most of these were either S6 pupils or school leavers in S5. In the past, SIFET has also delivered talks to students at universities and further education colleges.

  6. Why does it not cover more pupils 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.

  7. Does it cost schools anything?
    In most cases there is no charge to the school either for sessions or for travel expenses. However, if any school wants SIFET to provide more than six sessions of financial education, SIFET would usually ask for a financial contribution.

  8. 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 deliver two sessions of financial education for each class in the S6 year group 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 managed and coordinated by Paul Heward and the Project is administered by City Partnership (UK) Ltd. Historically, overheads and administration costs have been low (no more than 15% of total costs).

  9. 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. SIFET relies on its FEOs as external experts visiting schools to speak directly to students rather than providing teaching materials and resources to schools. SIFET also concentrates on S6 pupils and school leavers and only operates in secondary schools in Scotland.

  10. How is SIFET funded? 
    SIFET is a registered Scottish charity (SC045517) and has been funded entirely by charitable donations. Until 2008, its work was funded entirely by The Stewart Ivory Foundation. Since then, it has received generous donations from a combination of investment firms, charitable trusts and individuals which have provided sufficient funds to continue this important and valuable work.

    In 2016, the fund management company, Stewart Investors, committed to provide additional finance for SIFET and to underwrite SIFET’s annual budget, whilst still inviting donations and contributions from other parties to support SIFET’s activities. The management of Stewart Investors includes several individuals who were responsible for setting up The Stewart Ivory Foundation in 2001.

    As a result, SIFET is able to plan for the future with more certainty and to invest in developing and reinforcing the educational messages, with managerial input to support its effectiveness. There is no intention of expanding the objectives and activities of SIFET, but rather to invest for more effectiveness in applying and supporting the educational messages.

  11. 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. SIFET has remained entirely independent and does not promote any specific financial or investment products.

  12. Is SIFET a registered charity?
    SIFET is a registered Scottish charity and was registered as a Scottish Charitable incorporated Organisation, otherwise known as a SCIO (SCO45517) in March, 2015. From 2009 to 2015, SIFET’s activities were administered by Foundation Scotland (SC022910).

  13. If my school is interested, how can I contact SIFET?
    Please contact the FEO who covers your area (see the details on The Team page on our website ) or contact one of the following:-

    Paul Heward’s details are as follows:
    Project Coordinator


    Caitlin Smeaton, City Partnership
    Project Administrator