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Nearly half of teachers see no change in financial education

Pfeg financial education report shows schools are still not confident teaching money matters

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 27, 2016 | Teaching

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People, headed up by Young Enterprise and pfeg, has launched its findings into the reach and effectiveness of financial education in schools two years after it was made statutory at secondary level. 

The survey of secondary school teachers conducted for the APPG report revealed that 42% of teachers had witnessed no change in the emphasis put on financial education in their school.  

The report, “Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On – Job Done?” also found that many teachers currently involved in financial education are still unconfident teaching it, with few having received any training or advice on teaching the topic. 

Alison Pask, Vice Principal, Schools and Community Outreach at ifs University College, welcomed the findings of the report, which she said maid it clear that it’s far from ‘job done’.  “Incorporating financial education into the subject curriculum at a young age, coordination across the board and introducing impact measures are all steps in the right direction,” she said.  

“However, our experience in delivering financial education to more than 20,000 young people annually in 500 schools is that the success of such schemes depends largely on individual champions in those schools – once they move on it’s all too easy for financial education to slip down the agenda. 

“ifs strongly believes that if the government is serious about educating our young people to manage their finances then it needs to establish a national ‘gold standard’ in financial education and invest in training teachers to ensure they have the capabilities to deliver this.” 

The APPG group is now one of the largest of its kind in parliament, with over 200 members. The group splits into four strands to cover primary and secondary schools, further education, higher education and vulnerable young people. 

Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise and pfeg, said that preparing for financial challenges can transform their life chances, as 18-24 year-olds now represent over 20% of the UK indebted population. 

He said: “Despite its undoubted importance, getting young people excited about budgets, taxes and costing structures is no mean feat, and teachers often find it challenging to bring these topics to life.  

“[The survey] found that many teachers currently involved in financial education are still unconfident teaching it, with few having received any training or advice on teaching the topic. This is perhaps unsurprising given that nearly half had noticed no change in the emphasis put on the subject in their school since it became statutory two years ago.

“It’s important that teachers receive the support they need to provide students with a comprehensive and engaging introduction to financial education. Charities, such as Young Enterprise, provide teachers with access to valuable resources and experience of the topic.”

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