SCHOOLS in Bradford will become part of a "pioneering" project to teach children as young as four money management skills.

The city has been chosen as one of three in the UK to try out the LifeSavers initiative, which is funded by the treasury and could soon be spread to other schools.

The scheme will see children set up and help run savings clubs in their school, as well as becoming junior cashiers and bank managers to help them prepare for the future.

From September, two Bradford church schools will pilot the project, and if it proves a success it will be rolled out to up to 30 more schools in the district will take part.

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is now inviting schools to come forward to be one of the first to take it on.

As part of the project, children will be encouraged to save small, regular amounts of money and get experience handling cash.

Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced the initiative in a speech earlier this week. The other two areas involved are Lewisham and Bromley in London and Nottingham.

She said: “This will seek to equip primary school children with good financial habits by educating them about the benefits of saving at an early age. It will also introduce children to credit unions.

“This is a hugely valuable programme. It will help tackle the root cause of money problems, and get future generations developing good savings habits as early as possible.”

Richard Noake, director of education for the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, said: “The LifeSavers project is a fantastically conceived programme. I am genuinely excited by the approach as it firmly roots children's learning in practical experience; for children to have the opportunity to learn about how to effectively manage money so as to benefit self and others could be transformational. The fact that the programme managers have identified Bradford as one of the three pilot project areas is a real coup for the diocese and those of us working in education.

“I am already working closely with the programme managers and we hope to be inviting primary schools with a Bradford postcode to apply to be one of the two church schools that will take part in the pilot."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said: "How we think about and use our money is central to a fulfilled and contented life. That is why I strongly support this exciting initiative to encourage children to develop positive attitudes towards money and the habit of saving."

Councillor Ralph Berry, executive for children's services at Bradford Council, said: "This is something the Co-operative has been trying to establish for some time and now the church is involved too. I think it is a very positive move that will help young people in the future."