Should primary school children be taught personal finance?

Last post: Sep 7, 2017

How did you learn about managing your money? Chances are, it wasn't at school. So do you think personal finance should be on the national curriculum? Or do you think youngsters should be protected from money worries for as long as possible?

 How did you learn about managing your money? Chances are, it wasn't at school. While British schools have a good record when it comes to teaching numeracy, the curriculum contains very little regarding personal finance.

You almost certainly had or heard conversations with maths teachers about exactly why you'd need to know about trigonometry in the real world. And it's highly likely that you've never calculated the hypotenuse of a triangle since leaving your school blazer behind. What you have needed to tackle, however, is budgeting, self-assessment tax, splitting bills and arranging mortgages – without any prior experience or knowledge.

With so much to know and so little taught in schools, should personal finance be on the national curriculum? Well, according to a Money Advisor survey, 84% of adults think it should be.

Although financial education was added to the national curriculum for secondary school students in 2013, the scope of the subject is limited and few students are actually receiving these finance lessons. Many people believe children should start learning about money much earlier in their education.

Even the Government agrees. In 2016 a Parliamentary report revealed that youngsters would benefit from learning about personal finance from primary school age. From counting money to learning how to save and practicing budgeting, there are lots of crucial money lessons to digest, which many adults have had to learn the hard way. A head start at primary school age could help the UK become a much more money savvy nation.

So what should personal finance lessons include?

  • Counting money – a fundamental building block on which to base personal finance skills.
  • Saving money - it may seem simple, but keeping your incomings higher than your outgoings can be tricky.
  • Budgeting – understanding the types of expenses adults have to pay for and learning how to budget could make youngsters more financially responsible.
  • Interest - for older children, learning about how interest works is a crucial lesson.
  • Financial products – older children could benefit from understanding the different types of financial product they may encounter in adult life.

Did you receive any financial education at school? Did it help you? How early do you think youngsters should be taught about money? Share your opinion below...