MANAGING money is a vital skill all young people need to learn, yet it seems many teachers believe pupils aren’t being told the essentials. Although financial education became part of the National Curriculum in 2014, research suggests half of secondary school teachers rate the personal finance lessons delivered at their school as either poor or only satisfactory, and the vast majority (87%) say there’s a significant gap between what’s taught to children in schools and the skills needed as an adult.
Indeed, the research by financial services provider OneFamily found 38% of teachers say their teenage pupils don’t understand the difference between a credit and debit card, and 16% think pupils don’t even know where money comes from. Overall, the majority (55%) of teachers believe there’s not enough focus on preparing teens to manage their own finances.
Steve Ferrari, managing director of children’s savings at OneFamily, says : “January is a time when many parents will be getting themselves financially prepared for the new year so it’s a great opportunity to chat to kids about money, too. While teens might be taught financial education, unfortunately many teachers think it’s not fit for purpose and believe there’s a significant gap between the skills taught in schools and those needed in the real world.
“It’s crucial that children reach adulthood knowing the basics of personal finance.”
YoungMoney, which provides information and training to teach young people how to manage money has just teamed up with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis to publish Your Money Matters, the first curriculum-mapped financial education textbook which is being sent free to senior schools thanks to a £325,000 personal donation from Martin.
Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Money, says : “Financial education is a topic that still doesn’t always get the recognition in the education system that it deser ves, despite its fundamental importance for ever yday 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.”
But education starts at home, and 84% of teachers think parents should do more to teach their children about personal finance. To help, OneFamily has drawn up some tips to help parents teach teens about money, and Young Money has highlighted 15 key aspects of finance secondary school pupils should be aware of.