New financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England has been launched today, with the support of the Department for Education (DfE). The guidance, which has been developed by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) in its role as coordinator of the 10-year UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, is aimed at encouraging conversations about money in the classroom by setting out ten steps schools can take to boost the delivery of financial education.
The launch coincides with this year’s Talk Money Week campaign, which has highlighted the importance of money conversations in the home, alongside more formal financial education, in developing good money habits in childhood which will last a lifetime.
Children who say they learned about managing money in school are more likely to save up frequently and be more confident managing their money. With only 37% of 7- to 17-year-olds in England recalling having had any financial education at school, equipping teachers to have conversations about money in the classroom is vital. Learning about topics such as budgeting, saving, and managing credit in schools is essential to ensure children gain the skills and confidence they need to manage money now and in later life.
Developed in consultation with financial education experts and DfE, the guidance is designed to support school leaders and education decision makers to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools to make it memorable and impactful.
Instead of adding to teachers’ workloads, the guidance highlights the links between financial education and the existing curriculum. Suggestions include introducing a financial education lead, putting in place targeted support for children with additional needs, consulting parents and students, and approaches to embedding learning about money throughout school life. The guidance also points to a range of financial education services and resources to help schools, including those targeted at children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
Minister of State for School Standards, Robin Walker MP said:
“Building knowledge of money and financial matters from an early age can support resilience and wellbeing through life and it is important that children and young people develop strong financial knowledge, skills and habits to stand them in good stead as they prepare for life in the modern world.
“Many schools already deliver excellent finance education through their mathematics and citizenship lessons and today’s guidance will support schools to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum.”
Caroline Siarkiewicz, Chief Executive at MaPS said:
“Less than half of 11- to 17-year-olds feel confident managing their money, and almost a fifth of 16- and 17-year-olds report feeling anxious when thinking about their money. Financial education in school – alongside support at home and in the community – is key to helping children build the foundations needed for their future financial wellbeing and resilience. This guidance will equip schools with the tools they need to bring financial education to the forefront within the classroom and ensure it is impactful and engaging.
“Financial education plays an important role in helping children and young people make the most of their money as adults, whether that is understanding how to read a payslip, how to decipher a bill or the importance of planning ahead. The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that building money skills, confidence and resilience have never been more vital.”
Jonathan Baggaley, Chief Executive at the PSHE Association said:
“It is vital that children and young people learn early on how they can make informed financial decisions to help them prepare for the financial risks and responsibilities that exist in adult life. PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education can play a vital role in financial education, starting in primary school. Whilst it’s fantastic that health and relationships education is now compulsory, teachers should also be encouraged to focus on economic wellbeing as a core part of PSHE lessons. The MaPS guidance will support our membership of teachers greatly in this respect.”
Liz Moorse, Chief Executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching said:
“Teaching pupils about money matters and how the economy works is more important than ever. We welcome the publication of this new guidance for schools which highlights the importance of Citizenship education in equipping pupils with the essential knowledge, concepts and skills to make informed and responsible financial choices in their lives today and to understand the importance of good decision making and planning for their future.”
The guidance forms part of a broad programme to expand financial wellbeing provision in schools across the UK as part of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing goal of two million more children and young people receiving a meaningful financial education by 2030. MaPS funds the Financial Education Quality Mark, delivered by Young Money part of Young Enterprise, which helps teachers find quality assured resources to teach children and young people about money. To support schools to take part in Talk Money Week 2021, MaPS published the first Talk Money Week Toolkit for Schools, giving education settings easy access to programmes and resources that can help them bring conversations about money to life.
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Notes to editors
- The Financial Wellbeing Survey is a nationally representative survey of 10,306 adults living in the UK. It consists of online and postal interviews during July to September 2021. The research was conducted for the Money & Pensions Service by Critical Research. For Talk Money Week MaPS is sharing early insights from the Survey, which was recently concluded.
Data is weighted to be representative of the UK 18+ population by region/devolved nation, age, gender, Indices of Multiple Deprivation, housing tenure, urbanity, ethnicity, working status and internet usage.
- Population figures are calculated using a UK adult population of approximately 53 million, based on ONS mid-year population estimates.
- 2018 working age defined as 18-64, 2021 working age defined as 18-65. Different definitions due to change in State Pension Age (SPA).
- 2018-19 outcome evaluation of debt advice funded by Money and Pensions Service (2019).
About Talk Money Week
Talk Money Week is an annual public awareness campaign, run by the Money and Pensions Service, to get the nation having conversations about money.
Talking about finances has been shown to help people make better informed and less risky financial decisions, feel less stressed or anxious and more in control, have stronger personal relationships, and help their children form good lifetime money habits. Talk Money Week in 2021 will take place from 8 to 12 November.
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is here to ensure every person feels more in control of their finances throughout their lives: from pocket money to pensions. When they are, communities are healthier, businesses are more prosperous, the economy benefits and individuals feel better off. MaPS delivers free and impartial money and pensions guidance to the public through MoneyHelper, which recently brought together legacy services the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
MaPS is working to make sure the whole of the UK understands that financial, physical and mental health are all deeply connected. MaPS’ role is to connect organisations with the shared purpose of achieving the five goals set out in the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.
MaPS supports innovation so that everyone can use the most effective methods to help people feel more in control of their money, targeted to those most in need and inclusive of people from all backgrounds. MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).