Press release: Scotland's Financial Education Week begins today

Monday 20 March 2017

This week (20 – 24 March 2017) sees the launch of Scotland’s first national Financial Education Week.

The week, launched in partnership with Education Scotland, the Money Advice Service and the Scottish Financial Capability Partnership, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of financial education across Scotland and will bring together industry leaders, policy makers, academics and others. The week will begin with an evening reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Ruth Maguire MSP with guest speaker Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities.

Financial education for Scotland’s young people is an incredibly important issue. Recent research from the Money Advice Service on levels of financial capability among Scotland’s children results show that thousands are seriously unprepared to manage their money in later life.

The results showed that 16-17 year olds across Scotland – those about to leave full-time education – 31% do not have a current account and, of those that do, a quarter (26%) have no experience of putting money into it. Furthermore, a worrying 55% are unable to read a pay slip.

Engaging young people in managing their money from a young age is a vital step to giving them the skills and confidence needed to cope financially in later life. Schools have a vital role to play in this – over 90% of young people who received financial education in schools said they found it useful, though less than half (46%) of those surveyed said they’d actually received financial education.

Parents also have a key role to play. Encouragingly, four in five parents do talk to their children about money, though only three in five feel confident in doing so. Furthermore, parents’ behaviour may not always set the best example, with 48% of parents saying they do not save regularly, 45% saying they don’t feel confident managing their money and 66% finding it a burden to keep up with their bills and credit commitments.

Financial Education Week aims to draw attention to this issue. Events will take place across the week, organised in conjunction with the Scottish government, the University of Edinburgh, Young Scot and Lloyds Banking Group, among others.

Speaking about the week, Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director at Education Scotland, said: “It is important that we help raise the status and profile of financial education given the challenges that young people face both now and in the future. The range of workshops and organisations involved in Financial Education Week and the Financial Education Conference is a strong indication of the good work that is taking place and the support that is available for local authorities, schools and teachers to ensure that young people are better prepared to meet these challenges.”

David Haigh, Director of Financial Capability at the Money Advice Service, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in Scotland’s first Financial Education Week. As our survey data shows, young people are faced with a whole raft of challenges when it comes to managing their own money for the first time. We have a responsibility to ensure that future generations enter adult life with the skills and confidence they need to manage their money. It’s great to see organisations across Scotland coming out in support of this goal and we hope that events taking place across the week will help ensure that young people across the nation will, ultimately, receive the financial education they need and deserve.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “If young people are to thrive and gain more independence as they grow up they must be able to access banking services and valuable information on how to manage their money. Financial Education Week is an opportunity for us all to help young people get a grasp of their finances and so they can make the most of their resources and become confident and comfortable looking after their own spending, savings and wages.”

Professor Tina Harrison, Personal Chair of Financial Services Marketing and Consumption at the University of Edinburgh Business School, said: “We’re delighted to be part of such a significant event and to contribute specifically to supporting and developing young adults’ financial capability. The transition from school to further or higher education or employment brings greater independence and responsibility. The need for appropriate skills and confidence is particularly acute at this stage in a young person’s life as they negotiate uncharted financial responsibility. By bringing various stakeholders together, we hope to identify ways in which these needs can be addressed.”

Yvonne MacDermid, Chief Executive, Money Advice Scotland said: “We applaud this fresh collaborative approach in launching Scotland’s first national Financial Education week.This is a real opportunity for us to raise the issues faced by people in Scotland, particularly those of our young people. Financial education isn’t just “a nice to have” but a “must have” and this initiative helps put financial education firmly on the map”


Notes to editors

For more information, contact:

Money Advice Service Press Office

020 7943 0593 or 07767 438 670 /

Visual resources

Charts and infographics for the statistics mentioned in this release are available to download here.

About the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK and Scotland

The Financial Capability Strategy was established as a ten-year strategy to address the stubbornly low levels of financial capability across the UK and Scotland. The Strategy aims to bring together individuals and organisations to deliver a collaborative approach to improving levels of financial capability, as well as establishing the interventions that are proven to work and seeing that as many people as possible benefit from them.

About Education Scotland

Education Scotland is the national body in Scotland for supporting quality and improvement in learners’ experiences across early years, primary and secondary schools and colleges. for more information.

About the Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is the holder of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK. It is an independent organisation, giving free, unbiased money guidance online at or via free phone on 0800 138 7777. Debt advice is also provided through a variety of partners across the UK. The Service was set up by Government and is paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority. Its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding and knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system); and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.