Plea for more finance lessons in schools as debt crisis worsens


Teaching children about money and budgeting is more important than ever as cost of living rises, leading personal finance teachers are warning

Teaching children about money and budgeting is more important than ever as the cost of living rises, leading personal finance teachers are warning. 

Personal finance lessons are currently not compulsory in primary schools and not all secondary schools teach it. But millions of children are living in households where debt is an issue and rising bills are further straining budgets. 

Nick Redfern is a primary teacher at Powers Hall Academy in Witham, Essex, and winner of an Interactive Investor personal finance teacher award in 2021.

Vaulable lesson: Personal finance lessons are currently not compulsory in primary schools and not all secondary schools teach it

He says: ‘Personal finance is so vital, particularly in the current economic climate. Look at what’s happening with energy prices and the cost of living. We need to give pupils tools to address these issues as they get older.’ 

He says one of his most popular lessons is about debt, adding: ‘It resonates with a lot of pupils, and I have to rein back many from recounting their experiences about how their parents are coping with debt. 

‘Children must understand these issues, which they are already experiencing at home.’ 

Danny Topping is a teacher at Blackpool Sixth Form College and also won an award. He says: ‘Personal finance teaching is supposed to be covered in Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) lessons. It often gets less attention than it deserves among many competing priorities. The rising cost of living is creating a crisis in many communities here. Financial education could not be more vital.’ 

Interactive Investor’s hunt to find the UK’s 2022 personal finance teacher of the year starts tomorrow. A £25,000 prize will be shared among the winners’ schools. Parents, carers or pupils should email teacher@ii.co.uk with the name of the teacher they wish to nominate and name and address of the school by July 8. Teachers will be asked to submit a lesson plan and supporting statement by July 22. 

They can also nominate themselves and the first 250 teachers to submit these details will receive a £50 Amazon voucher.

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