Financial education charity Young Money will roll out the first-ever financial education textbook to schools across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
This follows the successful launch of the book in England in November 2018, when 340,000 copies of ‘Your Money Matters’ were delivered into English secondary schools.
Over 45,000 books will be sent free to schools in the other three countries over the next 14 months, as well as an accompanying teacher’s guide, which is available digitally.
The textbook will also be available as a free PDF download.
The original textbook was funded by Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis, who made a personal donation of £325,000 ($421,386, €358,678) to Young Money.
Following the success that Your Money Matters has received in England, the Money and Pensions Service (Maps) and Lewis are splitting the cost of the £368,000 project, funding Young Money to develop versions of the textbook for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
State-funded secondary schools in each nation will receive both printed and digital copies of their textbook over the next 14 months:
- Northern Ireland – January 2021 (12,000 copies in total);
- Scotland – March 2021 (21,500 copies in total); and
- Wales – September 2021 (12,500 copies in total).
What is in the textbook?
The educational textbook contains facts and information as well as interactive activities and questions for the students to apply their knowledge.
The chapters are as follows:
- Savings – ways to save, interest, money and mental health;
- Making the most of your money – budgeting, keeping track of your budget, ways to pay, value for money, spending;
- Borrowing – debt, APR, borrowing products, unmanageable debt;
- After school, the world of work – student finance, apprenticeships, earnings, tax, pensions, benefits;
- Risk and reward – investments, gambling, insurance; and
- Security and fraud – identify theft, online fraud, money mules
While the key financial topics will remain largely the same, a review in each nation, consisting of focus groups with teachers and devolved government representatives for education, is being conducted to identify if changes are needed.
Teachers have struggled
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, said: “The pandemic has shown the lack of personal financial resilience and preparedness of the UK as a whole.
“Not all of that can be fixed by improving financial education, but a chunk of it can. Of course, we need to educate people of all ages, yet young people are professionals at learning, so if you want to break the cycle of debt and bad decisions, they’re the best place to start.
“I was one of those at the forefront of the campaign to get financial education on the national curriculum in 2014, and we celebrated then thinking the job was done.
“We were wrong. Schools have struggled with resources and there’s been little teacher training. Something else was needed to make it easy for schools and teachers.
“So even though I questioned whether it’s right that a private individual should fund a textbook, no one else would do it, so I put pragmatics over politics and did it in 2018.”
Meaningful financial education
Sarah Porretta, strategy and insights director at Maps, said: “We know that learning about money when we’re young can have a direct impact on the ability to manage money later in life.
“However, too many young people are entering adulthood without being prepared for the money-related challenges that lie ahead.
“The launch of the Your Money Matters textbook in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is a vital step towards more teachers having the confidence, skills and knowledge to teach financial education.
“As part of our UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, we want to see a further two million children and young people getting a meaningful financial education so that they become adults able to make the most of their money and pensions.