Wednesday, 07 November 2018 12:15

Young people wanting money lessons in school rises to 83%

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Financial education is failing to help young people despite the vast majority wanting regular money lessons at school, according to new research.

A growing number of young people – 83% – say they want to learn more about money in school, up from 76% in 2017.

Finance education in schools is only “scratching the surface”, leaving young people “woefully” ill prepared for life and increasingly exposed to financial scams, says the London Institute of Banking & Finance which supported a survey of 2,000 young people aged 15-18 for Talk Money Week which launches next week.

The LIBF wants a one hour money lesson in schools each week.

While the number of young people reporting they receive financial education in schools has risen from 44% in 2017 to 62% in 2018, the amount of time spent on financial education has dropped “dramatically,” says the LIBF.

Only 33% say they had a lesson ‘in the last month’ compared to 43% in 2017. Just 14% said their most recent lesson was ‘in the last term’ and for 23% it had been a year or more since they had had any financial education.

The 2018 Young Persons’ Money Index found that the inclusion of financial education in broader subjects is the most common delivery method, with PHSE, Maths and Citizenship being the lessons of choice for schools. Only 3% report having dedicated personal finance lessons.

More young people say they worry about money – 71% (2017: 62%), increasing to 81% in the 17-18 age group and increasing numbers say they are being exposed to scams.

Alison Pask, MD of financial capability and community outreach at The London Institute of Banking & Finance said: “The current approach can only scratch the surface of what children need to know about money, meaning they’re woefully unprepared for life. Being able to calculate interest rates and understand some financial concepts is useful, but that doesn’t add up to a financial education.

“Financial education is not being given enough time in the classroom, it’s not being taught in the right context and it’s not being delivered frequently enough. Young people need help understanding the practicalities of managing money – day-to-day and for the long term – and teachers need support to deliver that. Otherwise we risk another generation growing up without the essential knowledge they need to manage money well.”

The London Institute of Banking & Finance wants clearer guidance to be given to teachers about what financial education should cover and for financial education to be allocated a mandatory number of hours – at least an hour a week.

The research was carried out for the UK Financial Capability Strategy which is supported by The Money Advice Service, Young Money, The National Skills Academy for Financial Services, The London Institute of Banking and Finance, The Money Charity and MyBnk. The Youth Financial Capability Group has developed Financial Education Planning frameworks to support teachers, which is being sent to all schools.

The research was commissioned for the Young Persons’ Money Index, an annual survey that tracks the delivery of financial education in schools in the UK. For the 2018 edition, YouthSight surveyed a representative sample of just over 2,000 school children, aged between 15-18, UK wide, from a mix of schools including academies, local authority (state) schools, private and independent.

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