Advice Investments Wealth management

So why aren't we giving our kids this vital life skill?


Stewart Perry

Head of Responsible Business

Poor personal financial planning can lead to debt, worry and in some cases trigger mental health problems – so why should such an important topic not be a key part of any child’s education?

Last year’s astonishing report by the FCA’s Financial Lives Survey showed that a massive 46% of all UK adults report low knowledge about financial matters. This figure highlights a hole in the curriculum that needs addressing. Getting children to engage with the basic principles of personal finance such as saving and budgeting can help them enjoy prosperous and financially sound futures.

With this in mind, we wanted to be a part of KickStart Money, the collaborative project that aims to take financial education to over 18,000 primary school children and support calls for financial education to become a compulsory element of the Primary National Curriculum.

KickStart Money has partnered with the charity MyBnk which recently managed to secure a grant from the government’s What Works Fund so it can test the effectiveness of personal finance lessons and ultimately get the government to make PSHE, which could be natural home for financial education compulsory at a primary school level.

The key is getting kids to just talk with confidence about finance. Then, as they get older and the concepts start to get more complex, they are not overwhelmed and switch off.  An in-depth study by the Money Advice Service found that financial habits are formed as early as seven, so it’s critical to teach best practice early on.

There is currently a somewhat piecemeal approach to teaching PSHE at primary school level in LEA-maintained, academies, free and independent schools which should be standardized. Doing so, will help to address some of the other shocking statistics the FCA’s Financial Lives report also found which include: 4.1 million people failed to pay bills or credit commitments in three or more of the last six months, 3.5 million Brits are borrowing from friends and family to make ends meet and only just over a third (35%) of those age 45-54 have prepared for retirement.

Kickstart Money aims to try and tackle these statistics and enable children better to look after their personal finances and avoid unmanageable debt.

Soon MyBnk and Kickstart Money will produce a report detailing the project and what we’ve found. Government need to take a serious and considered review of the report and what its findings reveal of personal finance education for upcoming generations.