FINANCE is becoming increasingly important to students with rising university fees and growing living costs, writes Nicola Powell.
The idea of finance and money management being taught in schools was only brought in during September 2014.
Finance is key at most ages but for students preparing for university it becomes even more vital.
Since most students will leave with thousands of pounds of debt and have their first experience of rent and bills, finance is a significant part of university life.
In talking to students aged 16-18, many know nothing about most aspects of finances, interest rates, debt, taxes etc.
As of this academic year, finance is now being taught in secondary schools in the citizenship and mathematics curriculum.
However, this curriculum change is only due to MoneySavingExpert.com’s creator Martin Lewis setting out a long campaign for it.
Martin Lewis set up petitions for the issue to be debated in Parliament in 2011 which received over 100,000 signatures.
This is the clear solution to our growing lack of knowledge; that it is taught in most secondary schools.
This, however, doesn’t solve the issue of the current older students (years 10-13) still being uninformed and ignorant of some of the major facts of finance.
There are already many online schemes and resources specifically designed for teachers to teach students “the skills to manage money so they can thrive and be prepared for independent living.” (RBS, MoneySense for Schools).
These schemes may be used in the government-funded/maintained schools – dependent on whether teachers see the benefit of them.
Although this new curriculum is a solution to this growing issue, non-government-funded schools (e.g. academies) do not have to teach finance.
This means that around half the schools in England may not teach any form of finance or public spending.
This highlights one of the issues with this solution – that it is not universal and still means thousands of students will enter university being unsure of what is to come.
Martin Lewis said “the campaign doesn’t stop here” when discussing the issue on a MoneySavingExpert.com article.
Clearly there is much more to do before youngsters are financially savvy.