Victory for financial education! And what’s been left out…

Written by , February 7, 2013

The day has been a long long time coming, but financial education is set to...

The day has been a long long time coming, but financial education is set to become a compulsory subject for secondary school pupils.

The new draft National Curriculum lays out plans to incorporate money lessons into Citizenship and Maths up to the age of 16.

This means MyBnk’s post 16 work is going to become even more important.

In citizenship, lessons should “prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens by providing them with the skills and knowledge to manage their money well and make sound financial decisions”.


Sound familiar?!

We’ve been banging on about compulsory financial education for years. Now, with help from pfeg, Credit Action, Martin Lewis, Justin Tomlinson MP and Carol Vorderman – it’s finally here. A huge pat on the back for all 251 MPs on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People and scores of supporting organisations.

We can’t wait to bring our brand of fun, effective, get up and go programmes to more young people and help teachers to act cross-curricular and map into Maths, Business Studies, PSHEE, Enterprise and off-timetable days.


The Plans

Children studying Citizenship at key stage 3 – those aged 11-14 – will be taught about the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and a range of financial products and services. (Just like Money Twist KS 3)

At key stage 4, aged between 14 and 16, they will learn about wages, taxes, credit, debt, financial risk and a range of more sophisticated financial products and services. (Just like Money Twist KS 4 & 5)

In key stage 3 maths they will be expected to solve and devise problems in financial mathematics and understand simple interest.

What’s left out?


For those over the age of 16, there will be no statutory money lessons at a crucial transitional stage whether it is their first job, living independently or starting university or further education.

There is a danger of setting young people up for a fall. Combined with poor career advice and a tough job market, young people who have benefited from earlier financial literacy programmes could still be susceptible to debt and make poor financial decisions.


Other concerns

Academies and Free Schools can opt out of teaching the National Curriculum all altogether, bypassing any financial education.

MyBnk are not the only ones concerned at the brief scope now offered to students.

The ifs School of Finance also called for the curriculum guidelines to go further:

“While these draft curriculum guidelines are certainly encouraging, relegating financial education to a bit-part in a broad Citizenship qualification reduces its effectiveness and leaves our young people’s decision-making abilities to chance.”

Vice principal Rod McKee.

We would have liked to have seen the review place more emphasis on the importance of behavioural change in a young person’s relationship with money by facilitating access to saving accounts and creating a culture of saving from a young age. In our proposals, we cited our youth-led microfinance scheme as a model for embedding sound financial habits from an early age.

Demand for MyBnk programmes, developed with young people, teachers, financial experts and youth workers, has doubled year-on-year and we will continue to deliver direct, engaging and expert led financial and enterprise education.

Congratulations to everyone involved for making a sound contribution to the future of financial education for young people in the UK. We look forward to continuing working together to reach our common goal.

From CEO & Founder Lily Lapenna:

 “All of us who have fought for financial education to be accessible to all young people can celebrate today. The priority is now to support in providing quality and focus on reaching all young people including those not in formal education and post 16.”