Teachers struggle to explain money issues to pupils

8th October 2015


Teachers are struggling when it comes to being able to explain basic personal finance to students, with over half, at 53%, admitting they can “just about get by’” according to a new survey.

The study, from Shares4Schools, a financial skills programme from stockbroker The Share Centre, investigated teacher’s understanding of personal finance and their confidence in being able to discuss money issues with their pupils.

When asked about their confidence in discussing money issues, 20% of teachers said that they were simply “not great with any personal finance issue”.

With financial education now part of the national curriculum, children will be taught how to manage their money and the link between personal and public finances. However, it seems years of little to no education on that topic has left a significant knowledge gap claims The Share Centre.

Some 91% of young adults said their schooling did not teach them enough about the real world and 81% of teachers still believe that school does not teach children enough about day to day life issues like managing money and getting a job.

Teachers across the UK are, however, clued up when it comes to spending money, admitting they have a good knowledge of debit and credit cards, at 64% and 61% respectively.

But when it comes to saving and investing, they are coming up short. Less than a third, at 28%, can explain how a pension works, while only 17% feel confident that they could explain what the stock market is, let alone how to invest in it.

Factors that ultimately affect your take home pay, such as tax and APR, are also lower down the ‘know-how’ list – just 41% of teachers could comfortably explain to their students how taxes work, while a third, at 36%, know what APR meant.

Gavin Oldham, chairman of The Share Centre, said: “While the inclusion of financial education on the curriculum is a huge step forward, it’s clear many teachers still lack the confidence to explain basic personal finance issues.  This means pupils may head into the world of work, bills and responsibility unprepared. Clearly there is a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed.”

Teachers were asked: Which of the following do you think you would feel comfortable explaining to children?

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