Currently, only 48% of the UK’s children and young people receive a meaningful financial education. The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) works with stakeholders as part of our role in coordinating the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, to encourage an uplift in the delivery and impact of financial education for children and young people over the next eight years. One of our national goals is two million more children and young people receiving meaningful financial education by 2030.
Existing evidence shows the importance of starting early to develop positive financial behaviours, before the age of seven. We also know that children and young people in vulnerable circumstances, or who have unique needs or characteristics, have the strongest association with poorer financial education. Additionally, there are few digital interventions for CYP, and therefore we only have limited evidence of their impact. Therefore, we designed our Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme to focus on these three areas, and support potential future replication or scaling.
Seven pilot projects were commissioned across these priority areas, and each was separately evaluated by our programme evaluators, Ecorys and Personal Finance Research Centre. The findings across all pilots were also combined in a programme-level synthesis report.
The programme has given us a wealth of new evidence on what works, including four major contributions to our understanding of what works in innovative financial education for children and young people:
- Storytelling is an effective way for teachers to deliver financial education for children under seven.
- Tailored and flexible resources are key when designing financial education for specific groups to ensure they are engaging, appropriate and relevant.
- Digital delivery must be considered as a key component of delivering financial education.
- Build sufficient lead-in time for financial education to be incorporated into existing structures and for teachers and practitioners to familiarise and plan their financial education delivery. For schools, ideally two terms are needed.
How to use this evaluation
Findings from our Innovation Programme strengthened the evidence base of what works and best practice to support providers of financial education to deliver and fund meaningful financial education.
We hope these findings will be useful for any policymakers, funders or delivery organisations involved in financial education for a range of different groups of children and young people
Pilot project overview
Below is an overview of each of the seven pilots projects funded through the programme, with links to their individual evaluation reports:
Children under the age of seven years
Just Finance Foundation
This pilot developed a new programme and suite of resources delivered and used by teachers in primary schools. This included a story book, game, and pull-out activities for four-to-seven-year-olds, as well as an online hub, blog, and social area for teachers. The programme evolved around a young dinosaur character called Milo, who has a lot of questions about money.
Read the Just Finance Foundation report here.
Learn more about Just Finance Foundation.
Campaign for Learning, NCFE, One Parent Families Scotland, Cardiff Parenting Team, and Bristol Community Learning Team
Building on existing evidence-based programmes, as well as emerging practice and feedback from expert partners, this pilot developed a financial education programme for parents/carers and families with children under seven years old across Great Britain. Using a blended delivery model, it included classroom and virtual group learning for parents, as well as remote learning via an online platform.
Read the NCFE/Campaign for Learning report here.
Young Enterprise Northern Ireland
Delivering two guided learning programmes for P1 to P3 children in Northern Ireland, this pilot digitised one of the programmes, and engaged with schools across Northern Ireland to deliver the two programmes via storytelling activities.
Read the Young Enterprise for Learning report here.
Learn more about Young Enterprise Northern Ireland.
Children in vulnerable circumstances
The Money Charity with Teenage Cancer Trust
A collaboration between The Money Charity and Teenage Cancer Trust, this pilot developed and delivered tailored, virtual workshops for young people undergoing cancer treatment, via an online platform, across several teenage cancer treatment centres in the UK.
This pilot created a suite of lived-experience videos around money, spending, and financial planning for young wheelchair users, co-created with wheelchair users themselves. The videos are hosted on a website for children and young people who are wheelchair users as part of a wider set of videos on life skills, fun activities, wheelchair skills and tips, and activity packs. The pilot also included information leaflets/booklets to download, a digital information campaign, and a leaflet drop.
Read the Whizz-Kidz report here.
Learn more about Whizz-Kidz.
Digital delivery of financial education
Taking a ‘learning by doing’ or ‘learning by earning’ approach, this pilot used a digital platform to connect young people across the UK with opportunities to earn money. This pilot also included situation-specific behavioural prompts or “nudges” as part of the learning content.
Read the MyPocketSkill report here.
Learn more about MyPocketSkill.
Young Enterprise Scotland
This pilot created an online portal with digital resources for practitioners across Scotland. The portal included webinars, Continuing Professional Development sessions, self-directed e-learning content, an online financial education progression framework for the Scottish curriculum, and a searchable database of good practice examples.
Read the Young Enterprise Scotland report here.
Learn more about Young Enterprise Scotland.
We want all children and young people to receive a meaningful financial education
Ultimately, we at MaPS want to support children and young people to achieve good financial wellbeing so that they can make the most of their money and pensions throughout life. We want to create a robust infrastructure that supports the effective provision of financial education in schools, at home, and in community settings. By doing so, we will support the delivery of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, where the national goal is to ensure two million more children and young people receive a meaningful financial education by 2030.
Get in touch
Want to find out more about our CYP Innovation Programme, or MaPS’ wider work to improve financial education? Keep up to date by following the Money and Pensions Service on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube – sign up for the monthly newsletter, or get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.