Primary school pupils should be taught how to manage money, according to a charity founded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Just Finance Foundation, which provides training teachers and helps
school savings clubs, said in a joint response with the Church of
England to a Department for Education consultation that learning where
money comes from, when to spend and how to save is vital to children's
ability to navigate adult life.
It said teaching financial skills should be be a mandatory part of
personal, social, health, and economic education (PSHE) in primary
schools and warned that a 'strong focus on sex and relationships
education' could squeeze out other important areas of the subject.
its written submission, the Foundation highlights figures that show 40
per cent of UK adults have less than £100 in savings and that struggling
to manage money is becoming a mainstream issue.
distress is on the rise in the UK. A recent report by the Financial
Conduct Authority found that 50 per cent of UK consumers show one or
more characteristics of financial vulnerability and the Money Advice
Service estimate that one in six individuals in the UK are
over-indebted,' the Foundation notes.
It refers to the pressure on
younger generations of uncertain incomes, the impact of lifelong
indebtedness, and high housing costs.
The foundation's executive
direction Rowena Young said: 'Children growing up today face the most
challenging and complex financial landscape of a generation. Education
should reflect the times and there is a growing consensus that managing
money should now form an essential part of setting children up for
The Just Finance Foundation has
published an interim report on the impact of its LifeSavers programme of
financial education in 30 primary schools across the North East,
Nottinghamshire, South East London and West Yorkshire.
The study showed that 90 per cent of participating schools agreed LifeSavers had improved the quality of financial education.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: 'Research has shown that
habits and attitudes to money are already being formed at the age of
seven. LifeSavers helps primary schools and teachers embed financial
education in ways that best meet the needs of pupils and local
communities. The programme combines down-to-earth, practical experience
and helping children explore what it means to be wise, generous, just
and thankful with money.'
The initiative has also won the backing
of chief economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, who said:
'Having seen first-hand – indeed, participated in – the LifeSavers
initiative at a school in Ashington, I know how big the benefits can be
in getting money matters understood by children.
and the broader work of the Just Finance Foundation are important steps
towards the crucial goals of improving financial literacy and money
skills across the UK.'