Most parents want money taught in primary school

Alex Holmes
4 August 2015
Three-quarters of parents want their children to be taught budgeting skills in primary school. Some 90% of parents already teach their school-age children how to manage money but a worrying 30% struggle to budget themselves. "The bank of mum and dad are bang on the money – the earlier young people have financial education the better," said, Guy Rigden, co-chief executive of financial education charity MyBnk, commenting on the findings of research carried out by ThinkMoney. "However, we need to think carefully about what is being taught, how it's delivered and to what standard. "There's a danger, that like secondary schools, the introduction of money lessons into the primary curriculum will be seen as tokenistic." Financial education has been compulsory in secondary schools since September 2014 but there are no formal assessments and critics argue that the quality and the success of the programmes is difficult to gauge. Half of parents questioned try to instil good money practises at home such as encouraging children to save for things they want, such as toys or comics. But a fifth of parents give in to pester power and loan their kids money that they have to re-pay from future pocket money. Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise, another leading financial education charity, said: "Children are exposed to financial decisions at an increasingly younger age through debit cards, online apps, advertising and internet shopping, so it is important to ensure they fully understand the implications of debt. "Borrowing from parents probably won't incur interest charges but borrowing from credit providers later in life will and its essential this is understood." The report found 17% of parents give in completely to pester power and simply buy whatever their children want, while only 7% of parents encourage long-term saving rather than buying things. Mercieca said: "Money habits can be formed around the age of seven, so developing financial literacy and capability skills at an early age will mean future adult generations are far less likely to struggle with household debts."

Add new comment