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Financial Education

Volume 697: debated on Monday 21 June 2021

What assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial education to children at primary school level. (901501)

It is important that pupils are well prepared to manage their money, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information. Financial education forms part of the citizenship curriculum, which can be taught at all key stages but is compulsory at key stages 3 and 4.

In 2013, the Money and Pensions Service found that our money habits and attitudes towards finance are formed by the age of seven. However, eight years later the Government have still not made financial education compulsory within the primary school curriculum. Does the Minister agree that teaching our children positive saving habits at a young age is vital to their financial futures, and that dormant assets from the savings and investment sector could fund initiatives such as KickStart Money to deliver primary financial education for all?

The priority at primary school must be to ensure that all children have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of arithmetic: that they can add, subtract, multiply and divide; that they know their times tables by heart; and that they can add, subtract and multiply fractions. In 2013, the Government introduced a new primary maths curriculum that includes ratio and proportions, that teaches pupils to use percentages and that introduces them to algebra. In year 2, pupils are introduced to the values of our coinage. That is all fundamental to being secure in handling finances and being taught financial education at key stage 3.