Start Smart

Changing the way young
people learn about finance

Start Smart

Changing the way young
people learn about finance


Frequently Asked
Questions

Start Smart workshops are not your typical financial literacy lessons! They are designed to bring money skills to life in a practical and engaging way, instead of just teaching facts. Our aim is to give students the skills, confidence and attitudes they need to make smart money decisions for the rest of their lives. 

Want to know what we teach? Read an overview of the Start Smart Primary workshops here, and the Start Smart Secondary workshops here.

Yes. Start Smart workshops align with the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework (NCFLF) and the Australian Curriculum. Our workshop alignment to the Australian Curriculum has been validated by the Business Educators of Australia. More detail about how Start Smart aligns to specific curriculums is available here.

Free, curriculum-aligned resources for teachers to extend and reinforce the lessons students learn from Start Smart are also available here.

Start Smart is offered for free to all Australian primary and secondary schools. The Commonwealth Bank provides these free financial education workshops as part of our long-standing commitment to supporting the financial capability of Australian youth.

Start Smart employs a team of professional facilitators who deliver the program to students in schools across Australia. Our facilitators have diverse backgrounds; many are former teachers, while others have backgrounds in education and applied theater. Our facilitators are experts at teaching students money skills in a fun and engaging way.

Want to see our facilitators in action? You can watch videos of the Start Smart Primary workshops here, and the Secondary workshops here

Our Start Smart Primary program has six age-aligned workshops designed for students from Years 1-6, and our Start Smart Secondary program has workshops that are suitable for students in Years 7-11. 

All workshops are designed to be age and curriculum-stage appropriate. More information about our different workshops is available here for Start Smart Primary, and here for Start Smart Secondary.

Start Smart offers free, curriculum-aligned resources for teachers to extend and reinforce the learnings of the workshops.

The teacher resources are available here.

Our professional facilitators are trained to tailor the way they deliver their workshops to be suitable for any audience. However, the content and learning outcomes of the workshops are carefully chosen to be age and curriculum-stage appropriate, and are aligned to the learning outcomes recommended for specific ages as defined by the NCFLF. Currently we do not offer the ability to fully customise content.

Our program is available to all primary and secondary schools in Australia. This includes government, private and independent schools. Start Smart is available in all metro areas in Australia and we also visit over 200 rural and regional areas around Australia each year. Contact us to find out if we’ll be visiting your area soon.

No.

Any school in areas where Start Smart is delivered is eligible to book the program. This includes schools who run school banking programs provided by other financial institutions.

We know that the ability to understand and manage money is an important life skill, and our ability (or inability) to manage money effectively can have a huge impact on our financial wellbeing. It’s never too early to start developing money management skills, and people who are taught about money as children tend to have better financial outcomes as adults. 

Our program is designed to give students the knowledge, skills and motivation to manage money now and into the future.

Our materials are branded with the Start Smart logo. As the Commonwealth Bank runs the program, in the interest of transparency a small Commonwealth Bank logo is present on our facilitators’ shirts and on the first slide of their presentations. 

No.

Our sessions include generic descriptions of bank products that the NCFLF and Australian Curriculum recommend be taught at specific ages, such as the difference between a transaction and a savings account. However, we don’t promote any specific bank services or products in our sessions.

We teach students the difference between debit and credit cards as payment options, as prescribed by the NCFLF. We do not promote Commonwealth Bank credit cards or any other bank products or services during these discussions.

No. 

Our facilitators are assessed on the impact they create, this encompasses both their effectiveness as educators and their reach in terms of students and session numbers. No facilitator is incentivised in any way to promote, sell or market the Commonwealth Bank or any of its products.

Yes. We ensure that all facilitators have a valid working with children check in any state or territory that they work in.

We run the Start Smart program to help fulfil our purpose to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Commonwealth Bank has a strong and long-standing commitment to education, and are proud of our more than 85-year history providing financial education programs in schools.

The Start Smart workshop content was independently developed by a team of instructional designers, educators and financial capability experts. More information about how we built and continue to improve Start Smart is available here.

No, Start Smart is not the same as our School Banking (Dollarmites) program.

The Start Smart program is a financial education program that teaches kids practical money management skills through interactive face-to-face workshops. Our School Banking program is designed to teach children the importance of developing regular saving habits at an early age.

Both programs are aligned to Commonwealth Bank’s purpose to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities.

Absolutely. Growing the financial capability of young Australians is a big job and no one program can do it alone. Many teachers combine Start Smart workshops with resources from other programs to extend their students’ learning, or use Start Smart workshops to complement their own financial literacy lessons.

We have developed free teacher resources, which you can use to reinforce and extend the lessons delivered by the Start Smart program. 

You can also access free financial education tools and teacher resources at ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

We’re proud to have over 20,000 testimonials, comments and reviews from teachers, which we’ve collected over the last decade of delivering the Start Smart program. 

Learn more about what teachers have to say about the program here.

We have a strong commitment to measuring the impact of our programs. We actively track program outcomes and each year gather feedback from over 8,000 teachers and 9,000 students to assess program quality, satisfaction and outcomes. For more information on how we track our program’s impact and what we have found, please refer to our latest evaluation report

We also work with external organisations to measure our program outcomes. The Australian Centre for Education Research (ACER) ran an independent evaluation of Start Smart in 2013, and found that the program drove educationally significant outcomes for students.

We take privacy seriously, and only collect data for the purposes of improving or booking our program. We have robust privacy and data protection policies that guide how we use and store data. You can read Start Smart’s privacy policy here, and Commonwealth Bank’s privacy policy here.

We recognise that there are a diverse range of views about the role that corporations should play in schools. At the Commonwealth Bank, we recognise the importance of equipping Australian students with the financial skills they need, and believe we are in a unique position to use our capabilities and resources to make a positive contribution beyond our core business. For this reason, we are proud of our 85-year history working in schools to build the financial capability of generations of Australians.

Start Smart

Start Smart