Is it time to rethink financial education in schools?
Updated: Oct 28
On Sunday evening the brilliant @actionheroteacher hosted an intriguing twitter debate on ‘Personal Finance - Are schools rubbish at teaching money?’ It quickly became apparent that schools could be and should be doing a lot more to improve the life chances of our young people.
The culture not to talk about money in this country harms young people, particularly if they lack good role models who can teach them about it in their family unit. Therefore, it is essential that schools up-skill their staff so they can deliver high quality financial education for those not fortunate enough to have those role models otherwise the gap between the haves and the have nots is going to increase even further.
The results of Brexit, Covid 19 and 10 emerging technologies over the next decade are going to see the world becoming more automated, there will be clear winners and losers along the way. Unfortunately, a large number of our young people are going to be left behind if we do not urgently up-skill in financial aptitude skills.
E-commerce has exploded during Covid pandemic with reported increases in sales of 40-50% over lockdown, how often is E-commerce taught in our schools? There has never been a better opportunity for anyone to make money in the developed world if they have internet access, and provide for themselves. There are going to be fantastic opportunities for young people if they get the financial education they deserve.
Time and again entrepreneurial skills are usually discouraged in schools rather than actively encouraged. For example, the child who buys food from a shop on the way to school then makes profit from selling it on, is frequently punished rather than praised for their ingenuity and encouraged to channel their skills further.
The current financial curriculum including the famed Gatsby benchmarks are unambitious, outdated, bolted on with non-specialists delivering a topic that they know little about. You can see why many in industry consider schools’ financial education as a joke.
If we taught this topic effectively it would empower young people to take charge of their lives and would reduce the burden on the state in the process.
Over lockdown, finance was a subject that I feverishly studied for purely selfish reasons as I looked to secure my family’s financial future. What I learned from the top financial teachers in the world like Kiyosaki, Rohn, Kriel, Moore, Lewis, Ramsey, Kidd and Whelan are so different from what I have seen delivered in UK schools over the last 16 years I have been teaching. Time and time again over lockdown I would come across a gem of a tip and think why isn’t that taught in school?
When do we teach pupils about how to build wealth, the importance of acquiring assets, how to divide their salary effectively, how to create multiple streams of income and convert earned income into passive and portfolio income so that they can provide for their families for generations and enhance their lives.
As a solution to the problem of poor financial education in schools, Future Action have created an ambitious ‘Financial Futures’ CPD course with editable resources to upskill teachers and provide a scheme of work that will ensure our young people get the financial education they deserve and save teachers hours of time planning.
To find out more go to:
To read a summary of the debate go to: https://www.actionheroteacher.com/blog
If you agree or disagree with me, I would love to hear what you think about financial education in schools?