The problem in need of a teacher of financial planning
The BBC in March 2018 declared there was a striking weakness in adult financial skills. Reporting on a study by Cambridge University and University College London, the BBC found that almost a quarter of adults struggle to work out how much change they should get in a shop. One in three adults could not work out a per unit price. More than half could not read a graph showing financial data. Most of those involved in the survey could not calculate discounts where there were complex calculations and regulations.
The researchers suggested that there was such a problem across Europe that there needed to be a policy intervention. England was listed amongst countries with the weakest financial skills.
The potential intervention requires education into pensions, borrowing money, and buying a house.
Personal finance education
Teachers will tell you that personal finance education is already a substantial part of education in the primary and secondary sector. Many teachers also recognise that more needs doing. Moira O’Neill is head of personal finance at Interactive Investor. As a judge of the Personal Finance Teacher of the Year, she sees it as vital that children learn about money and how to manage it. She also recognises that the current provision in the national curriculum is patchy.
Fellow judge, Julian Knight, MP, noted that this education was of relevance to the pupils’ lives, and therefore essential. It is not only vital to the future of the individual but the prospects of the country.
Becoming Finance Teacher of the Year
The point of the award is to promote better teaching of personal finance. Winners in the past have proven that financial education can be fun and engaging. The winner of the primary award succeeded by using pet ownership as a basis for a project. She also looked at ownership of an iPhone 8 and the best ways to spend birthday money. Practical, imaginative and relevant to the children.
Secondary School winners asked students to consider if an imaginary couple should re-mortgage a house. Also, they were asked what it would take to rent and furnish a flat. Enterprise clubs were also a popular means of teaching financial planning, with one school running a fruit and veg stall in school. One personal finance trainer created Keepsy, a squirrel that goes into Primary Schools. This encourages students to save money – “keep on squirrelling” being his slogan.
If you feel you could win with your ideas for personal finance teaching, seek out the Moneywise website and see how you could apply yourself or apply for someone you know.
The content in this article was correct on 23rd March 2019. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on the financial planning for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.