From education to employment

Free resource launched as 64% of teachers say students struggle with financial skills

Teacher in front of blackboard

Six in 10 UK Teachers Believe Today’s Pupils Lack Basic Financial Understanding When They Leave School 

More than six in 10 (64%) UK secondary school teachers believe today’s young people leave school with a poor level of financial skills and 59% say their pupils don’t understand what a credit score is.

The latest research from information and insights company TransUnion – one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies  shows two thirds (66%) of teachers think financial education has stalled as a result of the pandemic.

Nearly three quarters of teachers surveyed (73%) say their pupils struggle to understand the importance of personal budgeting, saving, money management and calculating interest. The majority (74%) believe a lack of real-life experience for students, such as having a part-time job outside school and handling money regularly, has had the biggest impact.

Over half (53%) think the lack of understanding is because core subjects had to take precedence over financial education, with students now lacking knowledge on how to budget and manage money.

Kelli Fielding, managing director of consumer interactive at TransUnion in the UK said: “Following the serious disruption to learning caused by the pandemic, teachers are now dealing with the challenge of rebuilding financial education in schools and tackling persistent gaps in money knowledge which can put today’s young people at a real disadvantage. With the ongoing cost of living crisis, it’s essential to give students the skills to manage money before they leave school.”

Almost half (46%) of teachers say their students would lack understanding on building a credit profile, whilst more than four in 10 (41%) say their pupils wouldn’t know the difference between a credit and debit card.

To support schools in improving financial knowledge for young people – aligned to personal, social, health and economic (PHSE) education frameworks – TransUnion is launching a new free online teaching resource.

Credit Scores Explained aims to give secondary school students the best start to their financial life, helping them learn about managing money and understanding from an early age the role that their credit report and score will play. 

Kelli Fielding adds: “We want to advance the financial inclusion of the UK’s young adults by ensuring school leavers have the knowledge to make informed choices when the time comes to manage their own money. Understanding credit information and the role it plays in day-to-day life is an important part of that. Our research showed that over a quarter of teachers felt schools had the primary responsibility for educating young people about finance, second only to parents and family, so our lesson provides a great foundation to support financial development, complete with teaching notes and quiz.”

Now available to all UK secondary schools via TransUnion’s website, the session has been designed for school children aged 13 to 18 and follows a successful pilot programme with schools in Yorkshire, supported by the Leeds United Foundation.

Teachers can visit to download the resources.

Unless otherwise stated research is based on a nationally representative survey carried out amongst 250 UK secondary school teachers by an independent research agency on behalf of TransUnion in July 2022.

The information in this release is intended for journalists and media professionals only. The information should not be construed as a financial promotion under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Handbook of rules and Guidance.

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