Bishop of St Albans asks about improving financial education in the UK

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 9th May 2023:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 3 April (HL6647):

  • what discussions they have had with (1) Barclays LifeSkills, (2) EVERFI, (3) HSBC, (4) Lloyds Banking Group, (5) NatWest MoneySense, (6) Santander Moneywise, and (7) other financial education providers, about improving financial education in the UK.
  • what steps they are taking to provide financial education for those who leave school early.

Baroness Barran (Con, Department for Education): The department has had conversations with a number of external organisations to understand what financial education programmes they deliver. This includes conversations with Barclays LifeSkills, Santander MoneyWise, the Just Finance Foundation, the Church of England, the Financial Times’ Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign, Young Enterprise and KickStart money.

The department has not spoken to the other organisations included in this list, but does work closely with The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and His Majesty’s Treasury to consider how we can support the teaching of financial education in schools. MaPS, as an arm’s length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, published their UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing in January 2020. This is a ten-year framework to help UK citizens to make the most of their money and pensions. One of the key themes of their strategy is to support the financial wellbeing of children and young people. Their national goal is to ensure that two million more children and young people receive a meaningful financial education by 2030.

Education on financial matters throughout secondary school helps to ensure that pupils are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. Children should receive age appropriate financial education as part of compulsory education, so that those who leave school early can benefit. Financial education forms part of the citizenship National Curriculum, at Key Stages 3 and 4, but can be taught by all schools at all Key Stages. The subject covers the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management, and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

The mathematics curriculum includes a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that primary pupils should be taught. A strong grasp of mathematics will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.

MaPS has published financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools and we will deliver a series of webinars in due course. The MaPS guidance can be found attached [on Hansard].



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