As of September 2014, Financial Education became a part of the secondary school curriculum, after years of campaigning this was now seen very much as ‘job done’. Yet the implementation of financial education differs from school to school, some having multiple hourly lessons yet others having a 30-minute PSHE lesson and ‘that’s it’. That’s what? From experience, a 30 minute lesson often consisted of 5 minutes settling down time, 5 minutes where the teacher had to exercise behaviour management techniques, leaving a mere 20 minutes to rush through the content, at best. To learn the important topic of finance that will see everyone through their lives for multiple decades to come. Yet hours are spent over analysing poems in English, when really the poet probably did just mean that ‘he put on a red coat’, instead of the red signifying a warming sign over the foreshadowing dangerous events.
According to The Money Charity (Financial education in schools: why we need direct delivery - The Money Charity, 2021) almost two thirds of teachers told them that financial education in the UK is somewhat or very ineffective. The report states that it is clear to see that teachers say financial education is more important for students than most subjects, but school leaders disagree (2021). This is due to the fact that school leaders face very little external pressure around financial education, so it is sadly therefore not prioritised. As research into the effects of financial education is sparse, and often results do not feature in school league tables many students miss out on the vital financial education that they should rightly be entitled to. From personal experience and talking to a multitude of my friends I know that if we received a strong financial education, we would feel more equipped after leaving school. At the end of the day Pythagoras Theorem isn’t going to pay my taxes, equip me with the knowledge to apply for a mortgage or help me to understand how to build up my credit rating.
If you are reading this and thinking I had next to no financial education and don’t have a clue what I am doing – this was me. I am not going to say I am some financial expert or some great investor because quite frankly I am definitely not. But from moving out at the age of 18 and trying to navigate the complex world of finance these few things have definitely helped me.
To read the report discussed above please find Here.