Young people are less likely to fall victim to fraud if they have teachers trained in financial education

22 November 2019

Training teachers in financial education is key in protecting younger people from fraud.

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Research from Young Money and the University of Edinburgh Business School has found that training teachers to provide financial education has a long term  positive impact on their pupils and puts them in a better position to choose financial products and protect themselves from identity theft and other types of fraud.

Between 2017 and 2018 the number of fraud victims aged under 21 rose by 24% according to fraud-prevention agency, Cifas. The number of under-21s acting as ‘money mules’ rose by 26% over the same period too.

Giving teachers the skills to teach their students about money could be key to stemming rising incidences of fraud amongst young adults, the Young Money and University of Edinburgh research suggests.

By increasing teachers’ confidence’, their pupils’ confidence is also improved and their ability to spot fraudulent communications is improved.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of students whose teachers received training were confident that they understood where victims of fraud could go for help, while 84% said they could recognise fraudulent communications. This compares to just 49% and 66% respectively where teachers had not been given specialist training.

In terms of their ability to choose financial products, those students whose teachers had received training felt confident using advice to make the right selection, compared to only 44% of untrained teachers’ students.

Commenting on the findings, Russell Winnard, Director of Programmes and Services at Young Money says: “The increasing accessibility and functionality of online digital financial services is a positive step for the vast majority of young people, however this can present additional challenges in how they keep their money safe and secure. Understanding the dangers and developing safety conscious habits from an early age is crucially important in preparing young people for future life and work. This is why we support teachers to deliver high quality financial education throughout the education system from age 3 onwards.”

 Professor Tina Harrison from the University of Edinburgh Business School adds: “As students move on from school into further study, training or employment, it is vital they are equipped to make considered financial decisions and know where to go for financial advice. There are also six million young people with government-issued child trust funds, the first wave of which are due to mature in September 2020. These young people will need to be confident seeking advice and making decisions about what to do with this, in many cases, quite significant windfall. This project clearly shows the impact of high-quality financial education on the ability of young people to manage their money and make effective financial decisions.”

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