News + Views

Cross party politicians and business leaders call on government to level up financial literacy in English primary schools

Back to News + Views

Financial education is currently only on the curriculum for secondary school children in England

In Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, children are taught about financial planning and keeping money safe from as young as three years of age

Kate Osborne MP, member of the Education Select Committee; The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, former leader of the Liberal Democrats; and Kirsty Moore, Managing Director of HSBC Private Bank are among those supporting the campaign

FINANCIAL campaigners have called on the UK government for primary school children in England to be taught financial literacy as part of the national curriculum to coincide with the United Nations World Day of Social Justice for progressing social development.

The campaign was launched with the publication of a letter in yesterday’s edition of The Sunday Telegraph. High profile signatories among the list of 16 include:

  • Kate Osborne MP, Labour MP for Jarrow and Member of the Education Select Committee
  • Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon
  • Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Former leader of the Liberal Democrats
  • The Rt Hon. the Lord Lipsey, Labour Peer and President of the Society of Later Life Advisers
  • Kirsty Moore, Managing Director of HSBC Private Bank
  • Calum Brewster, CEO of Brown Shipley a Quintet Private Bank

Currently, financial education in England is only included in secondary schools as a part of Maths and Citizenship lessons. Primary education only covers basic lessons about money, such as the use of pounds and pence.

England is lagging behind the rest of the UK: in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland financial education, including planning ahead and keeping money safe, is part of the national curriculum for those as young as three years of age.

Led by Tamara Gillan, Founder of The WealthiHer Network, campaigners have called for the educational playing field to be levelled up as the disparity in primary education standards across the UK leaves children in England at a significant disadvantage.

The WealthiHer Network Co-Founder and entrepreneur Tamara Gillian commented: “Currently, financial education doesn’t exist in England’s primary school curriculum and this is detrimental to the financial literacy of our children later in life. It must form a crucial part of every child’s education to enable them to better manage their money and plan their own financial futures. English children are left disadvantaged by their education system and unprepared to plan for adulthood and avoid the risks of financial exploitation. The government says it wants to ‘level up’ the UK. It can’t do that if some of Britain’s children are not taught to the same level in finance.”

Research has found that the lack of primary level education in England has a knock-on effect later in life in England compared to the rest of the world – especially for women. 47% of women in Hong Kong, China and Singapore have above average levels of financial education. When turning back to the UK, levels of above average financial education are 20% less than the figure in Asia. In fact, UK women are nearly three times as likely than Asian women to perceive they have a low level of financial education. 

Sunday 20th February marked the United Nations World Day of Social Justice for progressing social development. This day recognises that the investment in living standards is key in tackling the challenges of financial crises, poverty and inequality on a global scale and saw the launch of the campaign to secure the financial future of English school children.


Sign up and join the Higginson Strategy community

To receive priority invites and tips on how to communicate purpose please add your email.