We strongly back the House of Commons education select committee’s inquiry (“MPs launch inquiry into UK financial education”, Report, FT.com/flic, November 16). Many indicators point towards the fact that financial education has not been integrated into secondary schools’ curriculum as had been hoped when it was introduced in England nine years ago. We believe that educators need a greater level of support from government to embed financial education in a sustainable way.
With the pandemic proving the catalyst for a cashless society, and financial strains being created due to inflation and the continuing cost of living crisis, young people continue to be vulnerable to new financial challenges and threats.
We must engage educators, as well as support parents and carers, to teach the next generation about potential economic pitfalls and equip them with the necessary skills to be financially confident. Armed with the skills to apply financial education, young people and adults can be better prepared to manage their finances. Without this knowledge, the next generation are at risk of online scams, bad credit scores, and a lack of savings.
Research has found that children begin to form their mindset around money habits between the ages of three and seven, so it’s essential we educate children about money and finances while they are at primary school, so that they have confidence in handling money and a good understanding of basic transactions from a young age.
Financial education can make a significant contribution to financial freedom, help young people to develop responsible money habits, make informed career choices, navigate the complex financial landscape, and build resilience for the future. It is, therefore crucial to increase pressure on the government to strengthen provision of financial education in schools by supporting teaching staff to deliver it.
Sharon Davies, Chief Executive, Young Enterprise, London WC1N, UK