Case Studies

Carluke High School

Carluke High School

Carluke High School

Key Facts

Launching a Credit Union.

The aim is for Carluke High School to start their own Credit Union. Currently the associated primaries all have their own in school credit union, supported by Carluke Credit Union and it was felt that the secondary school should capitalise on the knowledge and expertise of the incoming pupils.

In June, a day was organised for all the new first year pupils to work co-operatively and decide on a name and branding for the new High School Credit Union. A competition was run and a name , logo and tagline was chosen. From August 2015, pupils will then work on starting up their new Credit Union.

How it developed

Having attended an information session by CETS about SSC we saw a fantastic opportunity that linked with so much of what we work hard to achieve in our school. SSC provides opportunities to develop our school values, raise pupil voice, and build partnership links, for example, with co-operative businesses such as Just Trading Scotland and The Media Co-op. The Credit Union will have a formal recruitment process with application forms, interviews, job offers and successful candidates will be trained. These enterprising activities will develop the capacities of CFE and skills for learning life and work in our pupils.

The SSC platform provides a structure to exemplify partnership working and enterprise which are key components in curriculum planning:

'Partnership working is an important element in curriculum planning. The term partners should be widely interpreted to include all those who can contribute to the delivery of the experiences and outcomes and development of the four capacities.' (Education Scotland)


'Enterprise in education is about taking an enterprising approach to teaching and learning. Enterprise encourages all young people to learn and develop in a way that meets their needs and develops skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work.' (Education Scotland)

There is evidence to support the gut instinct of staff that there is a need for financial education amongst our young people, eg:

  • Over 50,000 under-25s visited their local Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) in the last year to get help on debt.
  • proportion of young people with credit card debt has increased by nearly 50% since 2004
  • Above evidence is from Citizens Advice Bureau)

Running a Credit Union supports principles of Enterprise:

  • Educate on finances and develop financial skills
  • Do it in an enterprising way - young people taking control and running it for themselves and their school community
  • Values are based on equality and fairness - all members are equal and no one profits at the expense of members
  • There will be a formal recruitment process - application forms, interviews, job offers
  • Successful candidates will be trained
  • It creates opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and partnership working (both of these are principles of the national curriculum and school improvement planning):
  • Having support from around the school is key to success
  • We aim to engage parents and get their support.
  • We have embedded credit union lesson into S1 Business course.
  • We want to recruit seniors to mentor the S1s and develop their own leadership skills
  • We know there are CETs qualifications in addition to SQA qualifications that we can offer seniors

Outcomes and what pupils gained

Raise Pupil Voice:

Through all our groups and activities there are opportunities to raise pupil voice, for example, pupils are actively involved in the decision making of their co-operatives businesses and enterprise groups and presenting at assemblies (Fair Trade assemblies written and presented by pupils).

Hamilton Event:

An opportunity to build confidence and raise pupil voice as pupils presented to representatives from Scottish Government, CETS, South Lanarkshire Council and pupils and staff from other schools.

Quote from Carluke pupil who took part at Hamilton showcase.

'I feel that the co-operative award ceremony was very interesting and beneficial because I gained lots of additional information about co-operatives... After listening to other schools and also presenting information about our own schools involvement in Fairtrade we were awarded with a co-operative plaque. I felt proud to be recognised as someone who tries to make an effort to help others.'

Closing the Gap (Key Government Priority):

It gave an opportunity to provide all young people regardless of ability to with opportunities to experience achievement through taking part in co-operatives


Looking at ways to embed co-operation in the curriculum

Links to feeder primaries

We had a transition event for our feeder primaries and opportunities exist for future transition activities as P7s visit Carluke High School and take part in activities related to the Credit Union and co-operative ways of working. This also links with learning in the primaries that already have a CU and further embeds the sustainability of co-operation between the primaries and secondary curriculum.

Curriculum Choice

Through our groups and activities we are providing opportunities to develop this project in a sustainable way.

We hope to raise achievement for all pupils regardless of academic attainment/ability. There are lots of opportunities to develop IDL, For Example Business, Maths and PE are all supporting the Carluke Credit Union - Business have embedded lessons in to their S1 curriculum, Maths will support teaching of interest, percentages, PE supporting launch of CU with orienteering activity.

We hope to implement the units from the SQA accredited Awards, provided by CETS, so that pupils can evidence the skills gained from their enterprise activities. We think this will be beneficial to raise a sense of achievement for pupils and help with college/university/job applications. Both Business and The Media Group are looking into this.

We like that the SQA awards can be attained at levels 4, 5 and 6 (links alongside National Qualification structureu00adu00adu00adu00adu00adu00adu00adu00adu00ad) and will provide pupils with evidence of their skills in key proficiencies such as Enterprise. These are key skills that will take them from the classroom to the world beyond. The appeal of the units is that they have already been developed by education specialists. Resources and support are all available to assist teacher delivery. Their flexibility is ideal as they can be taught as individual units or as a whole course. We plan to include these at senior level so our seniors gain awards whilst gaining skills in enterprise and leadership within the school community.


Carluke Credit Union

Contact Details

Karen Robinson
Teacher of Modern Studies

Carluke High School
Carnwath Road
Carluke South

Phone: 01555 773 680

Other useful information

IDL, CFE, Raising Pupil Voice and Enterprise with the Fair Trade Group:

We plan to form a co-operative to take on the JTS 90kg rice challenge and partner with Just Trading Scotland to run the JTS Rice Challenge - sell 90kg of rice and send a Malawian child to secondary school for a year. This Enterprising activity will support an Interdisciplinary unit delivered during fair Trade fortnight.

All of this will deliver the capacities of CFE with lots of opportunities for literacy, numeracy and global citizenship. This Enterprising activity could also help towards developing awareness of Rights and be used toward a Rights Respecting Award. Article 26: Everyone has the Right to an education.


  • Credit Unions
  • Just Trading Scotland: Rice Challenge

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