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News & insights

Young Persons' Money Index

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

For the 2021-22 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.

“Having the skills and knowledge to manage your money, even in the hardest circumstances, isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s an essential life skill – as important as maths and English. Young people want to be financially resilient, and the impacts of Covid-19 – and the rising costs of living – are all taking their toll.”


2021-22 findings

Anxiety in young people about finance has increased to 81% from 67% last year.

  • 67% say that Covid-19 has made them feel more anxious about money
  • That rises to 73% among 15–16 year olds.
Overall, 72% want to learn more about money and finance in school. That rises to 85% among 17–18 year olds.

  • Asked at what age they’d like to start learning about money:

- 56% said between the ages of 11–14

- 25% said between the ages of 15–18

- 8% said from the age of ten

- 15% said ten and under

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. This is the same as last year
  • There have been improvements in some specific areas of knowledge

- 62% said they hadn’t received any information about tax in school – a reduction of 15%

- 36% say they don’t how a student loan works – a reduction of 5%

- 32% would like to learn more about pursuing a career in the finance sector

So what access are they getting to financial education?

  • 73% of young people report having access to some form of financial education in school. That’s an increase of over 10%, with the rise particularly marked in the 15–16 age group.

- 88% of 15–16 year olds

- 61% of 17–18 year olds

  • The percentage of those who had access ‘Within the last term’ was less than 50% (46%). That’s a big increase on last year (27%), but there are significant differences between the age groups.

- 65% of 15–16 year olds

- 27% of 17–18 year olds

Where do they get most of their financial understanding?

  • Just over half (56%) say most of their financial understanding and knowledge comes from their parents. That’s an improvement compared to last year (75%), but there’s a big difference between the age groups:

- less than half of 15–16 year olds (43%)

- compared to more than two thirds (68%) of 17–18 year olds.

Only 15% cite school as their main source of financial education – but that’s a 7% increase on last year.

  • 25% of respondents say they’re self-taught – up 12% on last year.

- Worryingly, of those, the 15–16 age group are more likely to say ‘self-taught’ – 31%, compared to 19% of 17–18s


Our comments

Catherine Winter, MD, Financial Capability at The London Institute of Banking & Finance says:

“Having the skills and knowledge to manage your money, even in the hardest circumstances, isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s an essential life skill – as important as maths and English. Young people want to be financially resilient, and the impacts of Covid-19 – and the rising costs of living – are all taking their toll.

“Now is the time for the government to really step in and empower young people and their teachers. It's time to include financial education in the Ofsted Framework, so it can be prioritised and measured and for young people to have access to dedicated lessons. And we need to make sure that the older age groups don’t get left behind.”

The research found:

  • young people want more, and more regular, access to financial education in school
  • they want to learn about the practicalities of managing money well
  • they are at risk of getting into bad habits, and are vulnerable to scams and fraud
  • while the younger age group do seem to have been getting access to more financial education, the majority don’t get dedicated lessons and it’s not clear what resources teachers have available
  • 17-18 year olds could be being left out – at a time in their lives when they arguably need it the most.


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 e-learning 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.

Our new Level 2 Technical Certificate in Finance (TCF) is designed to give your students a detailed introduction to the world of finance. They’ll learn about financial services, financial products and finance in business whilst developing transferrable skills required for a successful career within the sector.

 
Find out more about our financial education qualifications

Young persons money index 2019
    
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