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Financial Services: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 167382, tabled on 11 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a statement on the importance of financial education at primary level.

Answered on

16 March 2021

It is important that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information, if required. The Department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides pupils with the knowledge and skills to make important financial decisions and has also published statutory and non-statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should be taught about financial education from Key Stages one to four.

In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the National Curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds. To enable schools to plan their whole curriculum, we also published a non-statutory citizenship curriculum for Key Stages one and two, which is clear that, by the end of primary education, pupils should be taught how to look after their money and realise that future wants and needs may be met through saving.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the arithmetical knowledge that pupils should have. This knowledge is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money. There is also some specific content about financial education, including calculations with money.

Primary schools are free to include additional content on financial management in their curricula, including working with external experts. The Department does not monitor this and trusts schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular context.

We will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be learned from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.