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Mas-funded study finds financial education works

Mas-funded study finds financial education works

Research funded by the Money Advice Service has found young people will defer gratification and start saving if they are exposed to financial education at primary school age.

The findings, based on the work of independent research group Substance, found those aged between seven and 11 were able to gain skills like budgeting thanks to undergoing financial education.

The academic year-long study analysed data from 1,444 pupils and 187 teachers at 86 schools participating in programmes with the charity MyBnk and it was funded through the Mas What Works project.

It found that after exposure to financial education saw 91 per cent of pupils opting to defer gratification - a 68 per cent increase.

Meanwhile after education 70 per cent of pupils would actively pursue a savings goal and 55 per cent of those who could not understand financial terms like "budget" now could grasp the concept.

Kath Edgar, a senior researcher at Substance, said: "We believe that this this ground-breaking primary school intervention has demonstrated its ability to have a positive impact on both the mindset and ability of seven-11 year olds to understand financial concepts."

The financial education sessions included videos, manga comics, games and role play, covered topics such as the value of money, consumer choices, mind-sets and prioritisation.

Four hours of face-to-face expert-led sessions were supported by six hours of teacher resources and four hours of family activities.

Guy Rigden, chief executive of MyBnk, said: "We’re all paying the costs of our inability to talk about and deal with money. Personal debt is increasing, millions of workers are not saving for longer lives and good choices are being missed.

"This study shows categorically that young children can be taught how to become smart spenders and savvy savers, early, setting them up for their future, with the biggest progress made by those that need help most.

"Teachers are too busy and untrained to cover these subjects in depth. By using experts and putting young people at the heart, MyBnk makes money real, relevant and engaging."

The results of the Mas study come just a month after the Personal Finance Society announced it was set to launch a nationwide financial education programme in schools and colleges.

The ‘Education Champions’ initiative is to provide important and complementary financial education for the next generation and it is hoped that it will ultimately become a key part of the national curriculum.

The scheme aims to establishing an active link with every secondary school and college of further education in the country.

More than 250 advisers registered an interest in becoming a volunteer trainer just two days after the launch of the scheme was announced to members.

damian.fantato@ft.com