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Make Financial Education Law, Urges GoHenry; as 68% Fear Leaving School Without Money Skills

Young people want to learn more about personal finance at school, and many are worried about leaving full-time education without the money skills required for adult life, new research from GoHenry, the prepaid debit card and financial education app, has revealed.

Half of the 18-year-olds who have received financial education in school don’t think it was enough to make them confident with managing money as adults, says GoHenry. It also found that 68 per cent of young people the same age are worried about leaving school with no money skills at all.

However, this issue goes beyond just those set to leave school within the next year. In fact, 49 per cent of secondary school kids and 42 per cent of primary school kids surveyed are already worried about leaving school without sufficient financial education.

As the Education Select Committee prepares to deliver its recommendations for how financial education could be strengthened in schools, it’s clear that young people think what they currently learn needs to be reformed. A huge 84 per cent say that financial education is equally or more important than core subjects like Maths, English and Science.

GoHenry’s research comes as its Parliament petition to #makemoneycount by making financial education compulsory in all schools from primary age concluded with over 12,500 signatures.

What do kids actually want to learn about? 

When asked what money topics they would most like to learn about in school, the most popular amongst six to 18-year-olds were:

  1. How to save money – 46 per cent
  2. How to buy a house (e.g. mortgages) – 34 per cent
  3. How to earn money/build a career – 34 per cent
  4. How to create a budget – 31 per cent
  5. How to use a bank account – 31 per cent

The eagerness to learn about saving and mortgages may be a result of kids looking ahead to major life milestones like homeownership. Retirement is already on the minds of young people too, as 26 per cent of 18-year-olds want to learn about pensions in school.

Louise Hill, co-founder and COO, GoHenry
Louise Hill, co-founder and CEO at GoHenry

Louise Hill, co-founder and CEO of GoHenry, said: “If financial education was compulsory in all schools, it could make a huge difference to the next generation and it’s clear that kids and teens are acutely aware of this too.

“The fact that kids as young as primary school age are worried about their money skills is yet more evidence that financial education must begin earlier. We’ve heard from parents, teachers, industry bodies and organisations on this debate but now the Government must listen to these young voices and prioritise the practical money skills they need – and want- to navigate the adult world successfully.”

When it comes to how much financial education they want, on average, kids and teens said they would like to spend 45 minutes learning about money at school each week, with 18 per cent wanting to extend that to one to two hours per week, increasing to 29 per cent for 18-year-olds.

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