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News & insights

Young Persons' Money Index


The Young Persons' Money Index is an annual survey that tracks the take-up of finance education in schools in the UK. It also examines the attitudes, behaviours and experiences of UK students in relation to money and personal finance. We’ve been tracking this since financial education was introduced onto the national curriculum in September 2014.

For the 2020-21 edition we surveyed more than 2,000 young people aged 15-18 on their access to financial education, their confidence and behaviour with money, their use of financial services, and their levels of financial education and knowledge.

“Money confidence is a vital life skill. Yet year after year young people tell us access to financial education is patchy and they want more. It should be included in the Ofsted Framework – so that it becomes a priority in schools around the UK and the impact of any financial education can be measured.”

2020-21 findings

  • A significant number (75%) say that most of their financial understanding and knowledge comes from their parents. That number increases to 88% when those who say they are self-taught are included. Only 8% cite school as their main source of financial education
  • The percentage who say they worry about money remains high at 67% (2019: 69%)
    - That increases to 82% in the 17–18 age group (2019: 82%)
  • 59% say that Covid-19 has made them feel more anxious about money
  • 83% want to learn more about money and finance in school – a 1% increase compared to last year.
What would young people like to learn more about?

  • Financial products – such as mortgages, pensions, loans and credit cards – along with budgeting and debt management came top, followed closely by tax
    - 77% said they hadn’t received any information about tax in school (2019: 78%)
    - 41% do not know or are unsure how a student loan works (2019: 37%)
    - 32% would like to learn more about pursuing a career in the finance sector.

When asked at what age they’d like to start learning about money:

  • 54% said between the ages of 11–14
  • 27% said between the ages of 15–18
  • 7% said from the age of ten, with only a few suggesting younger ages.

Of those receiving financial education in school, how much access do they actually get?

Of the 64% who say they have received financial education of some sort:

  • 19% had access only within the last month
  • 8% only within the last term
  • 18% only within the last year
  • 15% more than a year ago.

Our comments

Catherine Winter, our MD of Financial Education and Community Outreach says:

"For many schools – battling with all the challenges of the pandemic – implementing better financial education may not seem like it can take top priority right now. Meanwhile, Covid-19 is making many young people (59%) more anxious about their money-managing skills, particularly in the 17–18 age group (71%), with 67% saying they regularly worry about money overall.

“Young people say they want to learn the practical skills that will help them prosper in life; to understand the financial products they're likely to use, such as mortgages, loans (particularly student loans) and credit cards; and to be able to budget and understand their tax.

“Money confidence is a vital life skill. It should be included in the Ofsted Framework – so that it becomes a priority in schools around the UK and the impact of any financial education can be measured."

  • We are the awarding body for dedicated financial education qualifications at Levels 1, 2 (GCSE equivalent) and 3 (A Level equivalent). We also have an eLearning programme (Lessons in Financial Education – LiFE) which requires no teacher or classroom time and can be studied at both Level 1 and 2. These all cover the essential elements of managing money well, to build financial confidence and resilience.

Find out more about our financial education qualifications

Young persons money index 2019