HomeDaily updatePupils leave school 'unprepared' for financial issues

Pupils leave school ‘unprepared’ for financial issues


Most pupils leave school without the money skills they need, according to new research from the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS).

MAPS warned that young people were consequently “unprepared” to deal with the financial issues they face in their lives.

It surveyed teachers and found that three in four (76 per cent) said children leave school or college without key financial skills. Almost all teachers (96 per cent) said kids should be taught about money and most said they thought it should happen in before children go to secondary school.

More than one in four – 26 per cent – believed financial education should start at nursery, while 44 per cent said children aged between 5-7 should start learning about money and 19 per cent said between ages 8-11 was best.

Asked to list the reasons why students were leaving school or college without the money skills needed, nearly four in five – 79 per cent – said other subjects took priority over financial education. A quarter said teaching staff did not have enough confidence or skills, or they were not sure where to find the right support and resources. Other reasons listed were the complexity of financial topics and products (20 per cent), money being a sensitive topic (18 per cent), and young people not being interested (15 per cent).

MAPS is calling for financial education to begin early on in children’s lives. Money is on the curriculum usually as part of maths and numeracy, citizenship and personal development subjects, but the age at which schools deliver it to young people can differ.

Lisa Davis, senior policy manager for children and young people at MAPS, said: “Teachers have a unique insight into young people’s lives and their message is clear; too many miss out on the money skills they need. This could mean that every year, hundreds of thousands exit the school gates for the last time completely unprepared for managing their finances.”

She said that left young adults at risk of making poor financial decisions, “leaving the UK’s future financial wellbeing hanging in the balance.”

A Government spokesperson said: “High quality financial education is key to making sure young people have the knowledge and financial skills to make important decisions later in life. Financial literacy within citizenship is compulsory for 11 to 16-year-olds in the national curriculum, so young people are taught about the importance of personal budgeting, savings, money management and calculating interest.

“Being financially literate relies on a solid understanding of maths and we have reformed the curriculum and invested £100m in the Maths Hubs programme. The Advanced British Standard will see all young people study maths and English to 18, giving them the essential skills they need to succeed.”

MAPS said it has invested £1.1m in financial education over the last year. The results so far include in-depth research into what children and young people need, a dedicated Talk Money kit for schools and the funding of programmes to test new approaches to teaching the topic. The MAPS is calling on schools, parents, funders, financial institutions and financial education providers to help.

Lisa Davis said: “The UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing targets two million more children and young people getting a meaningful financial education by 2030. Everyone involved in their lives has a major role to play and it’s crucial that we work together to deliver for them.”  

• The survey was conducted online by YouGov. The total sample size was 1,012 teachers in the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th – 17th November 2023. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK teachers (aged 18+). 




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