More school students want money lessons.

Financial education is failing to help young people despite the vast majority wanting regular money lessons at school, according to new research.

A growing number of young people – 83% – say they want to learn more about money in school.

Finance education in schools is only “scratching the surface”, leaving young people “woefully” ill prepared for life and increasingly exposed to financial scams, says the London Institute of Banking & Finance which supported a survey of 2,000 young people aged 15-18.

The 2018 Young Persons’ Money Index found that the inclusion of financial education in broader subjects is the most common delivery method, with PHSE, Maths and Citizenship being the lessons of choice for schools. Only 3% report having dedicated personal finance lessons.

More young people say they worry about money – 71% (2017: 62%), increasing to 81% in the 17-18 age group and increasing numbers say they are being exposed to scams. We know that money worries contribute to stress and mental health issues and believe that the sooner children learn how to manage money – from simple savings and budgeting through to understanding investment and debt – the better off we will be as a society.

We think the current approach can only scratch the surface of what children need to know about money, meaning they’re unprepared for real life. Being able to calculate interest rates and understand some financial concepts is useful, but that doesn’t add up to a proper financial education.

Financial education is not being given enough time in the classroom, it’s not being taught in the right context and it’s not being delivered frequently enough.

Where financial education is on the timetable, it is often being delivered by well meaning teachers who by their own admission do not have a firm grasp of the subject. Specialist help is needed.

Young people need help understanding the practicalities of managing money – day-to-day and for the long term – and teachers need support to deliver this. Otherwise we risk another generation growing up without the essential knowledge they need to manage money well.

At Magenta we are keen to help our young people, so if you know of a school looking for specialist help in providing financial education, please feel free to make an introduction or let us know.