Parenting and education is all about setting your kids up for the future, so it’s important that schools do their bit to create a grounded and responsible generation of adults.
So, when the UK government announced that teaching financial education in secondary schools would be made mandatory, parents like you and me will have probably raised a glass or two in celebration!
However, despite being rolled out in September 2014, the latest figures suggest that the majority of schools are failing to implement personal finance lessons.
We’ll address this below, while asking why it’s so important for our kids to receive financial education in schools.
Why are Kids Not Getting Financial Education in Schools?
According to research conducted by The London Institute of Banking and Finance, around 58% of students aged between 15 and 18 have failed to receive any form of financial education.
This means that kids continue to rely on their parents as their primary source of financial information, with 80% of respondents confirming this.
But why should this be the case? The obvious answer is that schools have struggled to introduce or teach about finance effectively, thanks largely to a lack of resources. Most importantly, it’s thought that teachers lack the confidence or authority to educate children on finances, with the government yet to invest in additional training for school employees.
This has significantly undermined the mandate to teach personal finance in schools, placing a greater burden on parents and putting students at the mercy of mounting debt as they grow older.
Why is Financial Education so Important to Kids?
While financial classes hold universal value, it has arguably never been more important for kids to learn about money management. After all, consumer debt levels continue to soar, with British households currently among the most indebted in the western world.
The current generation of children are also under unprecedented levels of social pressure, which may compel them to take out store cards and assume debt in order to achieve their goals in adulthood. At the heart of this is social media, which exposes youngsters to the aspirational lifestyles of celebrities and reality TV stars and encourages reckless spending.
These fears are shared by both teachers and watchdog groups alike, who feel that financial literacy classes represent an ideal opportunity to teach invaluable life skills at a relatively young age. From the basics of money management to understanding the impact and total cost of borrowing, these lessons will play a key role in creating the responsible and self-sufficient adults of tomorrow.
The Last Word
For now, there’s little doubt that financial regulators are striving hard to educate younger borrowers, while us parents are also doing what we can set a positive financial example to our kids.
While schools have also taken huge strides by making finance classes mandatory, they now need to go the extra mile by equipping teachers with the skills to handle this responsibility.
Only then can we really do right by our kids and save them from the perils of ‘Generation Debt’.