For National Teacher’s Day, we look at why teaching financial education is important and how teachers can support their students.
The value of financial literacy
Financial literacy equips young people to make important financial decisions. A strong financial education can help them understand and avoid debt, know how to budget, and learn how to save.
Our Young Persons’ Money Index found:
- 81% of young people are concerned about personal finance
- 72% of young people want more financial education in school
- 56% want to learn about money, as early as age 11 to 14.
But what exactly do school students want to learn?
Young people reported that they’re interested to know more about:
- financial products, such as credit cards, pensions, mortgages and loans
- debt management
Bridging the financial literacy gap with financial education
Helen Westwood is a Financial Wellbeing Consultant for The Money Charity and Moneywise’s 2019 Personal Finance Teacher of the year.
She has extensive experience teaching maths and financial education to young people and has seen how teaching financial education has positively impacted her students.
“I love seeing my students consider and debate what they might like to do in the future and how they are going to go about achieving their objectives.”
According to our Young Persons’ Money Index, 15% of young people sited school as their main source of financial education whereas 25% were self-taught.
It’s great that young people are taking the initiative to learn about money, but are the resources they’re using reliable?
Social media influencers have become more prominent in the last few years – you don’t need a qualification to post about something online, including financial education.
Darren Collins is an Independent Financial Adviser, Head of the Financial Department at Sittingbourne School, and Interactive Investor’s 2020 Personal Finance Teacher of the Year. He addressed this issue on our Financial Education podcast.
“Social media is all about getting likes and followers. Quick wins sell on social media. Tough work and hard work do not.”
Young people may see influencers make easy money, think it’s that straightforward and fall prey to scams. Teaching financial education in schools ensures the information students consume will be correct, and will also be delivered by qualified teachers. This can counteract the spread of misinformation and help young people make good decisions when it comes to money.
Would teaching financial education make a difference?
Binta Darboe studied our Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) at school, before achieving her degree in Finance, Investment and Risk (BSc) with us. For Binta, this was the first time she had learned about personal finance.
“One of the most important things I learned was how taxes work and how to get a mortgage. It helped me shape my financial goals and taught me skills I could apply in the future.”
Our 2022 Young Financial Journalist winners have also expressed why financial education is needed.
Linus Barnett, winner of the 18 to 19 category, pointed out that most people at his school will go to university but hadn’t received any financial education. “It would have been helpful to have some kind of education on budgeting.”
Zaki Mustafa, winner of the 14 to 15 category, also mentioned how “people have to cut their spending because of the cost of living going up.”
With the current cost of living crisis and peoples’ circumstances changing, teaching financial education is now more important than ever.
More about our financial education qualifications
More about our Young Persons’ Money Index