The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People have released a report, shining a light on the challenges faced by teachers and schools and makes recommendations as to how to best implement an effective financial education.
The new report explores how financial education in schools can be strengthened and, crucially, shines a light on some of the key barriers faced by teachers as they deliver provision.
Across the UK, there are large numbers of young people who lack the knowledge, skills and behaviours to manage their money well. 55,000 children aged 11-16 are problem gamblers and the number of young people being exploited by criminals as ‘money mules’ is increasing.1 This has a significant negative impact on their ability to navigate an increasingly complex financial world, build resilience against economic shocks and avoid falling victim to scams and bad debt.
Lack of financial capability is an issue that is echoed across the rest of the population, with 45% of adults saying they do not feel confident managing money.2
According to research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and GoHenry, prioritising financial education could add an extra £6.98bn to the UK economy each year, equivalent to £202bn by 2050.3 This offers a powerful illustration of the economic, as well as the moral, argument for ensuring that our young people leave the education system equipped with financial literacy.
However, for teachers to deliver high-quality financial education to the young people in their care, what’s clear is that they need more support. This support comes in the form of both structural and practical interventions and remedies, which if implemented, can mark a step change in the financial capability of our youngest generations for years to come.
One of this APPG’s recommendations is also an effective communications campaign to raise awareness among practitioners of existing curriculum requirements to help recognise the importance and positive impact of building financial capability in young people.
Crucially, the report gives a voice to the teachers at the forefront of delivery and the perspectives and experiences they have shared across a wide range of contexts, including primary and secondary settings.
This inquiry has shone a light on the challenges faced by schools and teachers so we can see clearly how best to deliver financial education in the curriculum. To progress the report’s findings, we need to take action to illustrate the rationale and benefits of teaching financial education in schools, including at primary age and support those delivering that education.
As findings of our report are released, the APPG calls on stakeholders to work together to consider the evidence and advance the report’s recommendations.
Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK said:
“Evidence tells us that children’s attitudes about money are well developed by the age of seven. So, starting early really matters, and involving parents and teachers can help bring learning to life.
HSBC UK has a long history of supporting youth financial education. Last year we reached over 400,000 young people through our support for the Money Heroes programme, the Money Skills Activity Badge with the Scouts, and our colleague volunteer network.”
Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, Secretariat to the APPG said:
“We know that many teachers want to help their pupils learn about money because they believe it’s a key life skill they will need in adulthood. This APPG report crucially gives those teachers a voice and it’s those shared experiences and perspectives which are key to moving the dial and improving the financial education all young people receive.
What’s clear from the report’s findings, is that more support is needed and that this support should be both structural and practical including improving the accessibility and availability of financial education training to all teachers. It’s also clear that we need to raise awareness on the presence of financial education in the curriculum as the report shows many teachers are unsure whether they have a statutory duty to deliver financial education in their lessons.
The wider economic benefits of implementing financial education are clear so there’s no better time to break down the barriers to delivering it than now. That’s what this APPG report is calling for and I look forward to continuing to work with others to progress this vital issue in the coming months.”