We believe that financial education is a life skill – just like swimming – that needs to be taught in all schools from a young age. It’s the key to unlocking a bright future for the next generation, and there’s strong evidence to show that it leads to improvements in lifetime wellbeing, including better job prospects and higher earning power.
Unfortunately, financial education provision in the UK is patchy. It’s only mandatory at secondary schools in England – and this doesn’t even apply to academies and independent schools. And, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have financial education as part of their curriculums from primary school age, it’s mainly bundled in with subjects like maths. It’s obvious that the curriculum doesn’t add up.
We’re on a mission to #makemoneycount – and we’ve joined forces with money experts and industry campaigners to push for change.
Now we need your help, too!
At a time when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has committed to plans for all pupils in England to study maths up to the age of 18, there has never been a better time to focus on the importance of financial education.
The lack of financial education in primary schools means that kids are missing out on a huge opportunity to master the money skills that will influence the financial decisions they make for the rest of their lives. According to a Cambridge University study commissioned by the Money and Pensions Service, children’s financial habits are formed by the age of seven, so it’s vital to start learning about money from a young age when children start learning other core subjects such as numeracy and literacy.
“Numeracy skills are vital both in the workplace and everyday life, but we would like to see the Government prioritising the practical skills children need to navigate real-world finance successfully. That means thinking outside the box and prioritising financial education in all primary and secondary school curriculums. The evidence is clear that this will help individuals be more financially savvy, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide a significant long-term economic boost to the whole country. If the Prime Minister is serious about reimagining our approach to numeracy, this is the change that will make the most tangible difference.”
Louise Hill, Co-founder and CEO of GoHenry
A collaborative effort
Delivering effective financial education needs to be a collaborative effort, with government, charities and industry players all playing a part to help teachers carve out the time in the day for these lessons, as well as provide the resources they need to teach them.
This is why we’re asking the government to #makemoneycount by making financial education compulsory in all schools from primary age – just like swimming. This would make a huge difference to young people’s lives, as well as driving social mobility, financial equality, and supporting the Levelling Up project.
Our industry supporters explain why we need to #makemoneycount
“In order to combat the national financial capability crisis, it is vital that children and young people are given the opportunity to develop financial and money management skills, through robust financial education. Delivering financial education through schools is an important way to boost children’s money confidence and financial resilience, which can help them in the future when facing economic difficulties. At the Centre for Financial Capability, we support GoHenry’s calls to prioritise financial education at a young age and we look forward to working together to ensure that all children can receive an effective and high-quality financial education, both within and outside of school. I urge the Government to listen to our calls and improve financial education for children across the country. ”
Stewart Perry, Director of the Centre for Financial Capability
“MyBnk absolutely supports compulsory financial education in the primary school curriculum. Children start forming habits from a very young age; forming good money habits is critical in setting children up for the best start to their financial lives. Whilst financial education is technical, children are capable of navigating this. Indeed, our experience at MyBnk, is that our work in primary schools is really powerful in helping children to start thinking about forming good habits like saving but also include technical topics like APR and AER in a fun, engaging and contextual way. Children respond really well to it, so we are delighted that GoHenry is leading the call for this reform to #makemoneycount.”
Leon Ward, CEO, MyBnk
“The current curriculum in our schools is outdated and does not equip future generations with life skills they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving world where money is integral to their ability to thrive. We need financial education to extend beyond numeracy taught in Mathematics. We need it to include practical subjects, like budgeting, understanding how debt works and a host of others needed to help our children make healthy financial decisions and gain financial security.”
Peter Komolafe, financial expert @conversationofmoney
“It’s worrying how ill equipped we are to financially navigate adulthood in schools. Lessons on how to manage our finances effectively in both primary and secondary schools would be a game changer in the way young people manage and feel about their personal finances. Now’s our chance to come together to make a very much needed change to the national curriculum and by applying this change to all schools across the UK!”
OIa Majekodunmi, financial expert @allthingsmoney
“We know that children form their earliest money habits by the age of seven, and yet financial education is a glaring omission from the national curriculum at primary level and inconsistently delivered at secondary level. It is vital that we equip the next generation of young people with the skills they need to manage their money effectively before they reach adulthood. It’s about more than just their wealth prospects but their long term wellbeing too.”
Davinia Tomlinson, rainchq founder & author of Cash is Queen
“I don’t know a single Parliamentarian, from any party, who is opposed to the idea of giving young people a proper programme of financial education. As GoHenry's research suggests, this could have a transformative effect not only on the financial outcome of individuals, but on the wider economy too. We know that teachers are busy, so this petition isn't about burdening them with extra work. It's about helping teachers carve out the time for financial education lessons, and bringing in external experts to help them if necessary. Now is the time to deliver and I hope that we can all come together to achieve that sooner rather than later.”
Peter Gibson MP, Conservative MP for Darlington
How you can help
Please sign our petition and share it with family, friends, teachers and other parents. You can also download our letter to send to your MP, asking them to help in our push to make financial education compulsory from primary school age.
Together, we can #makemoneycount