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Schools 'need to do more to teach children money skills'

16/11/2016 Joanna

A new study has indicated that children may need to receive more intensive money-management education at school than they are currently getting.

Research from the Money Advice Service has indicated that only 40 per cent of children aged between seven and 17 have received lessons in basic money management, despite it being part of the national curriculum.

Although nine in ten young people who have actually had financial education lessons found them useful, only seven per cent said they spoke to their teachers on the subject of money, a trend that is potentially leaving significant gaps in their knowledge.

Indeed, one-third of 16 and 17-year-olds surveyed as part of this study confessed to having never put money into a bank account, while two in five do not even have a current account. Meanwhile, only 43 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds felt confident managing their money, while many are also unaware of the benefits of shopping around to save money.

Responding to these findings, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) called for the government to make efforts to launch a schools-led programme to tackle this important knowledge gap, as the current lack of confidence on financial matters could be holding many children back from pursuing future careers in a number of fields, including self-employment.

IPSE's education and training manager Lydia Wakefield said: "IPSE calls on the government to introduce a Work and Life Skills module, encompassing self-employment, to be embedded in the national curriculum at Key Stage 3 or 4.

"The module should include financial education, basic business principles, basic legal understanding and commercial awareness. As well as a standalone module, enterprise education should also be embedded throughout the curriculum."

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