Indeed, anxiety in young people about finance increased to 81 per cent in 2022 from 67 per cent 2021, according to The London Institute of Banking & Finance’s Young Persons’ Money Index, with 72 per cent of respondents saying they want to learn more about money in school – this rises to 85 per cent among 17 to 18-year-olds.
Sunak’s idea of extra maths for 16 to 19-year-olds is misplaced; there should instead be greater focus on improving and expanding the financial literacy lessons offered throughout secondary education, with perhaps more intense programmes provided for ages 16 to 19.
How schools deliver this information is just as important as how often it is offered – the material must be relevant and engaging. As part of this strategy to improve financial education, the government should provide more detail as to how it expects schools to deliver these programmes.
LIBF’s index survey found 25 per cent of respondents say they are self-taught – up 12 per cent on last year – indicating the current provision is not resonating with a worryingly large number of students.
On implementing and enhancing a school’s financial education offering, Maps suggests auditing existing provision and assessing students’ knowledge; gathering input from the students and teachers themselves; and having a financial education lead.
It is apparent to me that financial education is best served outside of the typical maths curriculum.
The LIBF’s index revealed the most popular subjects for delivering financial education are still personal social health and economic education, and citizenship, with maths only just catching up last year.
It is apparent to me that financial education is best served outside of the typical maths curriculum – a curriculum that is notoriously disliked and considered difficult amongst students, often giving a negative association with ‘numbers’ and putting people off bettering their education in matters like personal finance.
Improving schools’ financial education offerings to create an enhanced, engaging and hopefully fun curriculum will vastly strengthen students’ financial literacy, boosting their confidence and giving them the tools they need to navigate financial products and services and a world in which, as Sunak said, “data is everywhere”.
Dionne Gibb is a production editor at FTAdviser