To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to increase the provision of financial education to help support the Levelling Up agenda.
Levelling up is at the heart of the agenda to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and to deliver for every part of the UK. In education, ability is evenly spread but opportunity is not. The department aims to reduce the dependency of people’s education and skills outcomes on where they live by ensuring that in every area children are able to access excellent schools, progress to high quality technical and higher education, and go on into good jobs.
Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. Finance education forms part of the citizenship national curriculum which can be taught at all key stages and is compulsory at key stages 3 and 4. Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.
The department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic knowledge that pupils should be taught. This knowledge is vital, as a strong grasp of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.
The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding and skills in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.
As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver these subjects, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils. The Money and Pensions Service published financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England, to support school leaders to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools to make it memorable and impactful. This guidance is available here: https://maps.org.uk/2021/11/11/financial-education-guidance-for-primary-and-secondary-schools-in-england/.
The department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as HM Treasury, to consider learning from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.