All Party Parliamentary Group launches inquiry into children in care and financial education

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People is today launching an inquiry into the current state of financial education available to children in care.

Launching the inquiry, Julian Knight, MP for Solihull and Chair of the APPG said:

“Understanding how to manage money is a key skill that is essential for all aspects of adult life. Financial education equips young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to lead independent lives, plan for the future and protect themselves from financial crime.

Access to good financial education is even more important for children in care who face tougher challenges when they leave the care system and become independent adults.

Our inquiry will look at the current challenges that looked after children face in accessing financial education and what we can do better to empower these young people to lead independent lives and successful careers once they leave care.”

In a previous report, the APPG established the importance of improving the scope and quality of financial education in schools1. The APPG’s new inquiry looks specifically into the financial education of children in care and the specific issues they face in accessing financial education.

Children in care often face tougher challenges than their peers. Research suggests:

  • People who have their family to help them prepare for adult life are less likely to fall into debt or financial difficulty than those without this support network
  • Care leavers often reach financial independence at a younger age and with less support than their peers, and there are some indications they are at greater risk of lower financial capability – looked after children aged 7–17 are less likely than their peers to be able to explain choices made when spending money, and at age 16–17, they are more likely to score worse on measures of money management like managing a day-to-day budget or allowance, and understanding choices have to be made when spending

 

The inquiry will consider what measures are currently being undertaken to support children in care with their financial education and what can be done to better support this group of vulnerable young people in forming positive financial habits. This issue is particularly relevant as the first cohort of children in care will soon be able to access their Child Trust Fund savings, which was provided by Government between 2002 and 2011. The APPG is grateful to the Money Advice Service for supporting the inquiry.

The APPG is keen to hear from local authorities, care providers, charities, academics, care leavers, fosters carers, schools and other organisations and individuals involved in this space. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 31st January 2019 and the APPG plans to hold a number of oral evidence sessions in the first quarter of 2019, before publishing an inquiry report. Evidence can be submitted by sending a word document to the APPG Secretariat at [email protected]

 

Full remit of the inquiry

First ever financial education textbook to hit schools

 

After a long campaign financial education became part of the National Curriculum in 2014, yet to date there has been no financial education textbook to help teachers and pupils get to grips with this crucial new subject. Today two of the leaders of that campaign have teamed together to publish ‘Your Money Matters’, the first ever curriculum-mapped financial education textbook which will be sent for free to senior schools. Written by the financial education charity Young Money, with guidance by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, who’s £325,000 personal donation funded the project.

 

The textbook, which is aimed at ages 15 to 16, has received the support of the Government. All 3,400 state-funded schools in England will receive 100 free copies of the 150-page textbook, typically enough for 1 textbook per two pupils, as well as copies of a linked teacher’s guide. A PDF of the textbook is also available for free for anyone who wants to download it at www.young-money.org.uk/textbook

 

What is in the textbook? Financial education is currently primarily split across the Maths and Citizenship curriculums, as well as within the non-statutory element of PSHE. Your Money Matters is aimed at helping secondary school students make informed choices about managing their money now and in the future, within that curriculum. The educational textbook contains facts and information as well as interactive activities and questions for the students to apply their knowledge. The chapters are as follows 1. Savings – ways to save, interest, money and mental health 2. Making the most of your money – budgeting, keeping track of your budget, ways to pay, value for money, spending) 3. Borrowing – debt, APR, borrowing products, unmanageable debt. 4. After school, the world of work – student finance, apprenticeships, earnings, tax, pensions, benefits. 5. Risk and reward – investments, gambling, insurance. 6. Security and fraud – identify theft, online fraud, money mules.

 

Why do we need a textbook? The textbook is important for teaching young adults how to manage their money at a time when young people are facing an increasing number of complex financial decisions. It responds to the findings identified in the report ‘Financial Education: Two Years On – Job Done?’ by the APPG on Financial Education for Young People, which pointed to an urgent need for resources and support for teachers and students.

 

Martin Lewis comments:

“I passionately believe that financial education could have a huge impact on the future wellbeing of millions of young people. When we got financial education on the national curriculum in 2014, we celebrated thinking the job was done. We were wrong. Schools have struggled with resources and there’s been little teacher’s training. Something else was needed to make it easy for schools and teachers.” “I still wrestle with whether it’s right that a private individual should fund this. Yet nothing else was forthcoming, and pragmatics outweigh principles. We live in one of the world’s most competitive consumer economies, with companies spending billions on advertising, marketing and teaching their staff to sell, yet we don’t get any buyer’s training. That needs to change. We need to break the cycle of debt. The best place to teach is in the classroom – I hope this textbook will help make that easier.”

 

Michael Mercieca, CEO at Young Money comments:

“We’re delighted to have worked with Martin Lewis on this pioneering project to produce these important educational materials which will help many students and teachers across the country. Financial education is a topic that still doesn’t always get the recognition in the education system that it deserves, despite its fundamental importance for everyday life. It’s vital to the personal wellbeing of individuals and to the country that we improve the education of young people in this area to give them the best possible chance of success in the future.”

 

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the APPG on Financial Education for Young People comments:

“I’m delighted that we now have a practical resource for the classroom to help ensure financial education is more consistent in schools and that students leave the education system adequately prepared for their financial futures. A need for classroom resource was a key factor identified in the APPG’s Report ‘Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On – Job Done?’ so the brand new textbook and teacher guide are an excellent outcome of the report.’

 

Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards comments:

“Economic and financial education are an important part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and provide the essential knowledge that young people need to manage their finances and succeed in the modern world. Both the Department for Education and HM Treasury support high-quality resources for schools to help deliver this, and I would like to commend Martin Lewis and Young Money for making this new textbook available.”

 

 

 

Hendon school wins the UK’s most entrepreneurial school

On 7th November, Hendon school in London were awarded with a UK Entrepreneurial School (TES) Award, at the ceremony hosted in Vienna, for their cutting-edge vision and outstanding implementation of entrepreneurship education programmes.

The school has developed a Smart Futures programme of Learning, which is incorporated into the School Development plan.

The TES Awards is an annual recognition, led by JA Europe, which recognises 17 outstanding primary and secondary schools championing entrepreneurship education. The Awards aim to provide a supportive and motivational framework to guide schools, headmasters and teachers from across Europe in their entrepreneurial learning initiatives.

Hendon have consistently demonstrated that enterprise and entrepreneurial education is embedded throughout the whole school, by working alongside over 150 businesses who provide career opportunities and enhance creativity and resilience amongst their students. They have close relationships with large businesses such as Reed, the Marriot Hotel Group and Nomura Investment Bank, and every year all 1200 of their students receive high quality enterprise education experiences.

Representatives from the school attended the fourth edition of the Entrepreneurial School Awards, which took place in Vienna. Headteachers and teachers from the 17 other award-winning schools from across Europe also attended the ceremony, which was hosted by Siemens.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe, said: “If we want to prepare youth for the future of jobs, we need to ensure they are equipped with the right skills today. Schools, teachers and families therefore have an essential role to play in fostering not only their academic skills but their soft/entrepreneurial skills as well, with a strong focus on practical experiences. Next century schools will definitely look like the Entrepreneurial School awardees.”

Wolfgang Hesoun, CEO of Siemens Austria, comments: “A proper education is the key for young people to get to know themselves, their strengths and interests. Therefore, we make sure to provide and help our employees to develop their professional and personal skills and offer young people, especially apprentices, the education which suits their individual background.”