Press release: Financial education textbooks sent to every school in the UK to combat increasing money pressures on young people

London, 16 November 2021: Young Money, Martin Lewis and the Money and Pensions Service have combined forces to deliver the UK’s first ever financial education textbook, ‘Your Money Matters’, to every state school in the UK, to give young people the knowledge we all wish we’d had at school on topics such as saving, debt, mortgages and credit cards. Having these skills will ensure that young people are less likely to make the wrong decisions as adults, like the potentially dangerous ‘buy now pay later’ options which lead to debt as well as cryptocurrency and dangerous financial scams.

Over 490,000 copies of the Your Money Matters were delivered free of charge to schools, with each school receiving up to 100 copies and digital editions, to enable the textbooks to be taught to children by teachers in a flexible way to suit the age and ability of their students. The textbook development and delivery was initially funded by Martin Lewis OBE, founder of, enabling all schools in England to receive their copies, and he was then joined by the Money and Pensions Service to fund editions for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Financial education has never been more vital than it is today, and yet it has slipped to the bottom of the priority list for schools.

The financial dangers on young people have never been so great. The ‘buy now, pay later’ offers which teenagers are bombarded with online and the increasing number of cryptocurrency adverts on social media make for a dangerous start to a young person’s financial journey in life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, financial scams circulating by text and email went up substantially, with 6,000 cases of COVID-related fraud and cyber crime reported, and £34.5 million stolen. Young people with limited experience of dealing with banks and businesses are particularly vulnerable to this.

Young people are also generally under more pressure with lost jobs which adds up to more challenging financial prospects. While lives may be returning to normal after the pandemic, the effect that school closures and lockdown have had on young people should not be underestimated.

While financial education is part of the national secondary curriculum for every nation in the UK, research has identified that teachers’ confidence in delivering financial education is low with little training provided to support this – and the degree to which young people receive financial education in school is hugely variable.

The textbook addresses this by covering key financial information like savings, borrowing and fraud in a relevant and engaging way for students. To accompany each edition of the textbook there is an online teacher’s guide which supports teachers in each nation to use the textbook to enrich their own financial education provision in a variety of ways.

Martin Lewis, founder and chair of MoneySavingExpert (though donating in a personal capacity) said: “The pandemic has shown the lack of personal financial resilience and preparedness of the UK as a whole. Not all of that can be fixed by improving financial education, but a chunk of it can. Of course, we need to educate people of all ages, yet young people are professionals at learning, so if you want to break the cycle of debt and bad decisions, they’re the best place to start.

I was one of those at the forefront of the campaign to get financial education on the national curriculum in 2014, and we celebrated then thinking the job was done. We were wrong. Schools have struggled with resources and there’s been little teacher training. Something else was needed to make it easy for schools and teachers. So even though I questioned whether it’s right that a private individual should fund a textbook, no one else would do it, so I put pragmatics over politics and did it in 2018.

I’m delighted that now we’ve proved the success of that book in England. The Money and Pensions Service has agreed to team up to provide this much-needed resource for the rest of the UK’s nations – adding a rightful sense of officialdom to the whole project.”

Sharon Davies, CEO at Young Money and Young Enterprise said: “We are thrilled that Young Money has been able to develop the Your Money Matters textbook for every UK nation. Financial education is critically important for all young people, and it is fantastic that the difference this has already made within England can now be extended to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”

Sarah Porretta, Propositions, Insights and External Engagement Director at the Money and Pensions Service said: “We know that learning about money when we’re young can have a direct impact on your ability to manage money later in life. However, too many young people are entering adulthood without being prepared for the money-related challenges that lie ahead.

The launch of the Your Money Matters textbook in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is a vital step towards more teachers having the confidence, skills and knowledge to teach financial education. As part of our UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, we want to see a further 2 million children and young people across the UK getting a meaningful financial education so that they become adults able to make the most of their money and pensions.”