Financial education is now being taught in secondary schools but it's only the tip of the iceberg for building a nation of savvy savers. Young people are worrying more than ever about the financial implications of their options after school, according to research from ICAEW and Hall & Partners.
Responding to Money Advice Service's consultation on the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK, ICAEW is calling for:
• More support for teachers, parents and carers to give constructive advice to young people about the transition to adulthood and starting work. ICAEW is calling for a 'cradle to the grave' approach to financial education.
• A stronger emphasis in financial education on changing people's attitudes to money. Money is a taboo subject in the UK. People will discuss many other aspects of their lives before they will talk about their financial situation or how much money they earn.
• Financial education should be extended into primary school, and in all types of secondary schools. Children can be introduced to money and the value of money from as young as three years old.
ICAEW Director for Global Student Recruitment, Sharon Spice, said:
"While it's fantastic that financial education is being taught in maintained secondary schools, the Government should not be complacent. More needs to be done to get children learning about money for all life stages – the UK can't afford not to. We continue to rally through an uncertain economy with historically low interest rates spelling bad news for savers. Young people are also telling us they are worried about what they choose to do after secondary education, and how those choices will financially impact them and their families.
"We don't want young people to be put off their career aspirations because they're worried about money. Making effective financial decisions and instilling a culture of saving has never been more important, which is why financial education needs to branch out of the curriculum and become embedded in everyday life. And it starts from breaking taboo and talking about money with children at a young age."
She added: "It's vital to support teachers, parents and carers in engaging young people about money for various life stages. For instance, young people will benefit from learning more about apprenticeships and the decisions around student loans. Fears about university fees could be eased by talking about education as an investment, rather than acquiring a debt."
ICAEW works to help people make informed decisions about personal finances. Working with pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), ICAEW Chartered Accountants and ACA students volunteer in schools to deliver financial education sessions to young people. Read more at icaew.com/personalfinance.