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Government told to improve financial education

Government told to improve financial education

A report has recommended improving the level of financial education in schools to tackle the issue of personal debt.

The research by Young Money, which examined the views of teaching professionals, found they wanted better levels of support for financial education and criticised the lack of consistency around how this is taught as well as the limited access to resources.

The teachers called for exam boards to incorporate financial education into their assessment criteria.

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Young Money recommended increasing support for teachers to deliver tailored financial education as well as giving statutory status for Personal Social and Health Education in primary and secondary schools, with a focus on financial education.

It also recommended that the Department for Education update its guidance for schools on the role of financial education in the curriculum and an evaluation of success in financial education.

Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Money, said: “Against the backdrop of media outlets and television programmes aggressively promoting the ‘rich is cool’ lifestyle, is it any wonder our children are finding themselves under pressure to look and act the part, regardless of their financial circumstances?

“The problem is made worse when you consider that the Financial Conduct Authority recently warned that young people are borrowing to cover basic living costs and unsecured household debt in Britain, comprising credit card debt and car loans, recently topped £200bn for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.”

Young Money, formerly known as the Personal Finance Education Group, provides resources and training to those who teach about finance.

Patrick Connolly, a financial planner at Chase de Vere, said: “Younger people have many financial challenges which previous generations didn’t have to face, these include property prices which are out of their reach, high education fees, less employment stability and inferior workplace pensions.

"Against this backdrop, it is generally easy for them to obtain credit and go into debt, while too many people have a ‘live for today’ attitude and limited knowledge of personal finances.

“Financial education has to be part of the long-term solution to help address these problems."