Financial Education should be a compulsory part of PSHE
Just Finance Foundation, the charity that oversees the LifeSavers programme has, with Young Money and the Church of England, submitted a response to the Government’s consultation on PSHE arguing that financial education should be made a compulsory at key stages 1 and 2.
We believe financial education is vital to children’s ability to navigate adult life and the wider world. In a society in which 17% of adults are over-indebted and 40% have less than £100 in savings, schools can play an important part in giving children practical exposure to life skills such as saving and budgeting, as well as help cultivate values that will enable them to make good decisions about money in the future.
Like sex, money is a subject that many parents and carers find difficult to broach with their children: in our baseline research in schools running LifeSavers, only 1 in 5 KS1 pupils said they talk about money at home. Research has shown that habits and attitudes to money are already being formed at age seven, and consequently we strongly advocate for the inclusion of financial capability education within primary school curriculums.
Our response to the consultation on PSHE focuses on the area in which LifeSavers gives us direct experience, namely in equipping schools to develop financial capability amongst Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils. We argue that financial education is not the only important component of PSHE, but it is one that merits much greater emphasis as we seek to build fairer society in which all children and young people have the opportunity to flourish. Additionally, any new duty should be supported by a number of new enabling measures including updated guidance, availability of financial resources and inclusion in the Common Inspection Framework.