Current financial teaching ‘ineffectual’

The vice-principal at IFS University College, said that financial education currently delivered through wider subjects in the national curriculum is often piecemeal and has no real impact on financial decision-making among teenagers.

Ms Pask said: “The planned inclusion of personal finance into the national curriculum through maths and citizenship is clearly already a positive step, but the curricula in both of these subjects are crowded, which raises questions as to how much money and finance content can be incorporated – and how effectively.”

The IFS said plans to teach the subject through maths and citizenship from September are unlikely to be as effective as through a stand-alone subject.

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Students are likely to be less confident, less financially active and likely to have had the fewest hours of class covering finance.

Those learning about finance through citizenship are the least confident in their financial knowledge, with more than a third not confident they had enough knowledge to manage their money. Citizenship and maths students are more likely to have been in debt, compared to those who have had no financial education at all.

Ruth Whitehead, IFA at London-based Ruth Whitehead Associates, said: “I have no idea how the stats have been arrived at but they don’t make sense. They are random results taken from samples.

“Certainly I am delighted it’s now mandatory that subjects include basic personal finance. It’s important that it is statutorily included. But being a stand-alone will apply to any subject.”