Financial Education and the Curriculum report

Following the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group in January 2011, the Primary and Secondary schools strand launched a UK wide intensive inquiry.

The inquiry was entitled ‘Financial Education and the Curriculum’ and the report was launched in December 2011. Led by Andrew Percy MP, the six month inquiry called for evidence from across the financial and education sectors to reveal the true level of financial education in our schools in order to establish a consistent and sustainable model for educating future generations.

The wide-ranging consultation was the driving force in bringing together the varying approaches to financial education in the UK. The aim was to enable the creation of a model of finance education that truly equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need to become intelligent and responsible consumers.

The report was submitted to the reviews of the National Curriculum and PSHE education in the previous parliament, and played an instrumental role in securing statutory financial education at secondary level in England as part of Maths and Citizenship.

Key recommendations of the inquiry committee

National Provision

  • Personal finance education should be compulsory on every school’s curriculum
  • Resources produced by outside organisations and visits of providers to schools should be available and accessible if considered helpful by teachers and quality marked by a trusted body.

Primary Education

  • Primary teachers should build upon their teaching of basic money and mathematics skills from an early age across the curriculum in preparation for secondary education
  • We welcome the Government’s current proposal to increase the minimum requirement of mathematics GSCE to grade B for primary school teachers and encourage that it should be adopted
  • It would be advantageous to use the opportunity of training days to refresh the mathematics skills of primary school teachers, although we respect the right of the schools to provide training in a way they feel is appropriate.

Secondary Education

  • Personal finance education should be taught cross-curricular in mathematics and PSHE education with the financial numeracy aspect of personal finance education situated in mathematics and subjective aspects taught in PSHE education. It should be packaged in an obvious and clear way to young people
  • Personal finance elements of maths should be clearly highlighted to emphasise how they relate to real life decisions. If viable, the Government should implement the Smith Report and Maths Review’s recommendation for the twin GSCEs: ‘Application of Mathematics’ and ‘Methods in Mathematics’ to improve financial numeracy and ensure it is examined
  • PSHE education should be clearly defined into four separate strands, one of which should be personal finance. Through reworking the PSHE education syllabus, more focused training and assessment can be developed
  • A school coordinator, or ‘Champion’, should be appointed in each school, preferably from the School Leadership Team. This ‘Champion’ should be given responsibility for ensuring that outcomes are achieved across maths and PSHE education, ensuring there is a clear link between the elements of personal finance taught in mathematics and PSHE education and for sourcing resources.

Download the report (download all)

Download written and oral evidence (download all)

  • Written evidence from organisations and individuals - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 1 (15th June 2011. Parties involved: Barbara Benson- ASDAN, Rod McKee - ifs School of Finance, Wendy van den Hende and Celia Allaby - pfeg) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 2 (21st June 2011. Parties involved: Jim Lally - Learning and Teaching Scotland, Ruth Kennedy - Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (Northern Ireland), Sue Lewis - Independent Consultant on the International Perspective) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 3 (27th June 2011. Parties involved: Gwen Coates – Ofsted, David Black - Alsager School (Cheshire), David Kennedy and Ellen McHugh - John Warner School (Hertfordshire), Brian Cole - Capital One, Martin Lewis - MoneySavingExpert.com) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 4 (6th July 2011. Parties involved: Amanda Szewczyk-Radley - St Michael’s CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School (London), Janine Kenna - St John Fisher RC Primary School (London), Adrienne Nichols – AQA, Jan Campbell - PSHE Association, Ian Toole – Voice) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 5 (12th July 2011. Parties involved: Sarah Barber – ICAEW, Peter Bull – HSBC, Michelle Smith – Barclays, James Graham – Nationwide, Jen Coleman – RBS) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 6 (6th September 2011. Parties involved: Young people from the Arun Youth Council, Young people from the National Children’s Bureau My Money Young Advisors) - Download PDF
  • Oral evidence transcript 7 (13th September 2011. Parties involved: Chris Pond – Finanical Services Authority, Steve Stillwell - Money Advice Service, Miles Celic – Prudential, Robert Sinclair - AIFA and AMI) - Download PDF

Background to the inquiry

The Inquiry Committee
The MPs on the committee were:
• Fiona Bruce MP
• Jenny Chapman MP
• Mark Garnier MP
• Anne-Marie Morris MP
• Eric Ollerenshaw MP
• Andrew Percy MP (Inquiry Chair)
• Justin Tomlinson MP (APPG Chair)

What organisations submitting written evidence were asked to provide

The inquiry committee wanted to see examples of evidence from the financial and education sectors detailing the current approaches to financial education in the UK. The inquiry looked at provisions that currently existed for financial education in schools in order to establish a consistent and sustainable education model for future generations in England.

Evidence was sought on the following areas:

  1. In what way does your organisation support financial education in schools?
  2. How many schools/students do you support? What type of school do you support e.g. Primary, Secondary, Academy etc?
  3. How can financial education be made sustainable in schools within England?
  4. What key stages do you support with your work?
  5. How does your organisation think more schools can be encouraged to take up teaching financial education?
  6. Are you training teachers to teach financial education? If so, how many?
  7. If your organisation delivers work in schools to students, do you deliver sessions within certain subjects or during assemblies? How much time do you spend within each school on average?
  8. What assessment/evaluation of your work do you do and what does it show?
  9. Does your work extend outside England?
  10. What is your organisation’s view on what financial education should look like in the English curriculum?

Schools and teachers were also offered the opportunity to complete an online survey about their thoughts on financial education.

For more information on the inquiry or for a hard copy of the report, please email Stuart Burt at appg@pfeg.org