Teaching money management in schools
Since September, UK schools have been teaching students about money management to prepare them for life beyond school. It was recognised that there was a need to ensure that students have an understanding of issues such as budgeting and responsible borrowing to equip them with living in the modern world of credit cards, interest rates, mortgages and bank accounts.
Having an understanding of financial matters will help students make sound financial decisions when handling their personal finances in later life. Christmastime is a great example of the importance of planning your finances ahead. People can easily get into financial difficulties and start the new year in debt because they do not budget prudently and are carried away with the excesses of the festive period. A greater awareness of money management would help avoid future financial woes.
Learning about the concepts of tax, debt and money management is now a part of the school curriculum and one that presents a challenge for teachers who must explain areas of finance in an understandable and student-friendly way.
The way that 11 to 16-year-olds are given tuition in managing money will vary from schools to school. The tuition in financial education that they receive is included in the Mathematics and Citizenship curriculum and will include areas such as budgeting and borrowing. How this is taught is left to schools to decide.
We have found some ways for teachers to approach money management that will engage pupils:
- The board game “Money Marathon” from the finance education charity MyBnk uses the interactive quiz format to help Secondary schools students understand the concepts of saving, borrowing and interest rates. A useful resource that makes complex financial issues fun to learn.
- Another great resource, this one more suitable for children in the 5 to 7 age range is “The Financial Fairy Tales” which teaches financial literacy through the medium of fairy tales.
- A very practical resource for teachers of slightly older pupils is “Learning About Money in the Primary Classroom” from pfeg. It lists plenty of activity ideas based on storytelling with a financial literacy theme.
Armed with these helpful resources the task of tackling financial literacy in the classroom should be easier for teaching staff and more entertaining for pupils.
One of the great satisfactions of teaching is the feeling that the tuition that you are providing to your students will help them to cope with the challenges that modern living presents. The fact that money management has been introduced to the curriculum shows how responsive UK education is to the changing needs of society and the needs of pupils in adult life.
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