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The kids aren’t alright: Just 40% are taught money skills at school

Just one in four children aged between seven and 17 have received lessons in basic money management despite it being part of the national curriculum, new Money Advice Service research reveals.

The study, part of Financial Capability Week which starts today, shows nine in ten young people who have actually had financial education lessons found them useful.

There are issues at home too, with two in five parents not confident talking to their children about money, and even fewer (1 in 3) actively engaging their kids with the household finances. This is despite three quarters of children talking to their parents about money.

The need for more financial education

The Money Advice Service surveyed 16 and 17 year olds as part of the study, and found many are lacking the experiences needed once they leave home. A third have never put money into a bank account and two in five don’t even have a current account.

There’s a lack of confidence too. Only 43% of 12-17 year olds felt confident managing their money. The rest are less likely to shop around and save money – good financial habits to have in adult life.

Financial education at school vs at home

With only seven percent of children talking to teachers about money, but three quarters talking to their parents on the topic, there’s certainly a gap in knowledge that could be filled by mum and dad.

Yet part of the problem is parents themselves aren’t confident with money. Half (50%) do not save regularly, 44% say they don’t feel confident managing their money and 68% say they find keeping up with their credit commitments and bills a burden.

David Haigh, Director of Financial Capability at the Money Advice Service, said: “In order to find a lasting solution to the problem of the UK’s stubbornly low levels financial capability, we need to help parents be better role models, build their confidence in speaking to their children about these matters and support schools to deliver effective financial education.”

What can parents do?

Whatever the age of your child there are activities you can complete together that will help frame how they think about money. From getting young children familiar with notes, coins and cards, through to giving teenagers responsibility for their lunch, the Money Advice Service has a series of tasks to help.

Take a look at the guides below to see what you can do with your children.

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  • Ian Miller / 30 November 2016

    I have created a ten week course to promote financial education at Primary School level linking this to National Curriculum but this is very much in the infant stage ( meetings with Head Teachers etc ) therefore no quick fix . Other courses will be available for adults and other school children early next year but seeking help through Money Advice Service . Anything we can do to provide effective impartial education particularly for our children has got to be amazing. I see the banks are doing their bit in terms of provision but alas they've been doing this as and when it suits for whatever reason for years. My passion and desire is here just need support

  • terence / 23 November 2016

    Could we create a after school programme ? or a programme to launch at schools ?