MyBnk welcomes the latest publication by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People.
The report sets out a range of sensible proposals for enhancing young people’s financial capability throughout the UK and we thank the APPG’s members, Suella Fernandes MP who chaired the investigation and contributors, who like ourselves, made representations to the board of inquiry.
Two years on from achieving limited statutory status for money lessons in England’s secondary schools, MyBnk has cautioned against a ‘job done’ mentality and continued to highlight difficulties and opportunities in helping young people manage their money and make informed decisions. This report reaffirms the importance of financial education for young people, supports and elaborates on such insights and puts forward pragmatic recommendations.
Its proposals to strengthen the breadth and depth of provision, make financial education compulsory at primary level, whole school and cross-curricular coordination, improved teacher training, introducing impact measurement, testing and signposting best practice are all steps in the right direction.
However, our experience in delivering financial education to more than 130,000 young people in 750 schools and youth organisations, underlines that success depends critically on the expertise of those that teach. The whole school curriculum is vast and, unfortunately, once the money lessons box is ticked, it can slip down the priority list for many schools.
A new Initial Teacher Training framework, to be introduced later this year, offers the chance to enhance financial education in schools whilst equipping new teachers with the skills to teach it well. We believe unless and until a ‘gold standard’ for teacher training and a holistic whole-school approach is adopted, practical solutions and outside support will be required, including direct provision from experts, trained for example, by MyBnk.
The report expresses concern that the government has not specifically resourced financial education in schools, but argues schools should use Pupil Premium and that the financial services sector should regard financial education as central to corporate social responsibility to fund such provision. Our view is this is a recipe for inconsistent and variable provision.
The recommendation to evaluate and share practical approaches to effective financial education through the work of The Money Advice Service is a good one and we will work closely with them. Once a range of effective approaches is available we would urge the government to revisit consistent funding of effective financial education.