Financial education should be on the school curriculum

As many as 80 per cent of primary school teachers believe that financial education should be on the school curriculum, according to new research from Prudential, while 69 per cent said parents should get more support in helping teach their children about money.

The findings come from the insurance company’s financial education programme Cha-Ching and were shared among a group of MPs chaired by MP Julian Knight. 

Cha-Ching provides teachers (and parents) with online resources to teach younger children about personal finance in partnership with Young Money, and it has been used by approximately 650 primary schools in the UK so far.

One of the major concerns identified by the research was our greater dependence on cards and contactless payments, with 67 per cent of teachers expressing concerns that children’s mental arithmetic skills were suffering as a result. Moreover, 81 per cent of teachers said that children aged seven to 11 years old do not have as good an understanding of money matters as they should.

Teachers ready to give lessons in money

Only a fifth of primary school pupils (21 per cent) learn about money at school every week. The majority only receive financial education on a very ad hoc basis. Reassuringly however, 75 per cent of teachers would be confident teaching children about money if school timetables permitted it. Only 11 per cent said they did not feel qualified to cover the subject.

Jane Rawnsley, head of Prudential’s Cha-Ching financial education programme, says: ‘Financial education in primary schools is just not adding up. We know that financial habits are learnt early and teachers agree. That’s why they’re calling for financial education to be part of the curriculum in primary schools.

'Getting children comfortable with the concept of money, its value and the cost of day-to-day items has never been more important. But digital technology making it easier to pay for things is making money appear more intangible than ever before. The basics of earning, spending and saving should to be instilled in children from as early an age as possible, and teachers recognise this.'

Moneywise Personal Finance Teacher of the Year competition details 

Moneywise, Money Observer’s sister website, is running its own Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Competition, which recognises and rewards those schools which are committed to teaching children about money. Knight, the MP for Solihull, is one the judges.  

If your children are some of the lucky few to be getting lessons about money, it’s not too late to nominate their teacher. Alternatively, teachers can enter directly.

Teachers now have until 30 April to submit an entry and there is £12,500 in cash prizes for the winning primary and secondary schools.

-Download an entry form for primary level (key stages 1 and 2)  

-Download an entry form for secondary level (key stages 3, 4 and 5) 

This article was originally written by our sister website Moneywise

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