Improving children and young people’s financial wellbeing: seven projects for teachers and vulnerable children

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Policy managers Sophia Spence-Cheng and Zoe Renton share their thoughts on a new £1.1 million grant programme, funded by the Money and Pensions Service, to improve financial education.

The programme tests scaling up projects that deliver financial education training to teachers and practitioners or offer direct delivery of financial education to children and young people in vulnerable circumstances.

We know that financial education works. Children and young people who recall learning about money at school are more likely to save frequently, have a bank account, and be confident managing their money. However, less than half of the UK’s children receive a meaningful financial education at home or in school.

We also know that some children and young people in vulnerable circumstances are at risk of having lower levels of financial capability or poor financial outcomes. Yet, there is limited provision targeted to children who are most vulnerable and those who work with them.

We have launched our new ‘Improving Financial Wellbeing through Teacher and Practitioner Training and Targeted Provision’ programme to help plug these gaps in provision, evidence, and knowledge. Working with a range of expert partners, we are funding projects to find out what works in two priority areas:

  1. Expanding and embedding teacher training.
  2. Developing provision for children and young people in vulnerable circumstances.

This will enable more children and young people get this vital learning.

Understanding what works in financial education

By providing potential models for scaling up delivery in schools and in the community, the findings from this programme will be used to inform policymakers, and financial education providers and funders. The programme will take us one step closer to achieving our national goal of ensuring two million more children and young people receive a meaningful financial education by 2030, as set out in the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.

Expanding and embedding teacher training

Just Finance Foundation

Teacher training for primary schools in England

Just Finance Foundation will test new approaches to engaging schools and teachers in their programme, through diverse marketing and engagement strategies, scaling up the delivery of their LifeSavers financial education programme for primary schools, and providing resources, educator training and savings clubs.

The project will reach 120 new schools and 1,200 more teachers, supporting the delivery of financial education to 30,000 children. This builds on work previously funded through MaPS’ Innovation Programme.

Learn more about Just Finance FoundationOpens in a new window

National Literacy Trust

Training for teachers in alternative provision settings in England and Scotland

National Literacy Trust (NLT) will develop and test approaches to embedding financial literacy training and support for teachers in alternative provision settings – for young people excluded from or not engaged in mainstream education. The programme will build on their Words that Count programme, and make links between literacy and financial capability, working through NLT’s existing literacy hubs. 150 teachers will receive training to deliver an eight-week financial literacy programme to 1,125 young people.

Learn more about National Literacy TrustOpens in a new window

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland

Training for teachers and Financial Education Leads in Northern Ireland

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland (YENI) will pilot the delivery of training and support for educators and school-based Financial Education Leads, assessing how to deliver and evaluate these approaches at the national level.

YENI aim to reach 240 educators over the lifetime of the project, across primary, post-primary, and special educational needs provision – with the potential to support onward delivery of financial education to 2,400 young people.

Learn more about Young Enterprise Northern IrelandOpens in a new window

Young Enterprise

Addressing barriers to accessing teacher training in England

Young Enterprise will seek to build evidence about how to engage senior leaders and executive heads in supporting and embedding financial education in primary and secondary schools. The project will include new quantitative and qualitative research with key education decision-makers (executive heads, multi-academy trust CEOs, school leaders and leadership teams, local authorities and governors) to understand the barriers to engaging in financial education teacher training and opportunities to address them.

Using these findings, Young Enterprise will enhance and test their existing teacher training offer and develop new, bespoke training for school leaders.

Young Enterprise aim to reach 120 headteachers/executive heads and 300 teachers with their new training, with a view to supporting the delivery of financial education to 6,250-7,500 young people.  

Learn more about Young EnterpriseOpens in a new window

Developing provision for children and young people in vulnerable circumstances

Just Finance Foundation

Practitioner training with a focus on Specialist Provision Settings in England

Just Finance Foundation will work with teachers and students in specialist provision settings, such as Behavioural Support Centres and Pupil Referral Units, to deliver financial education training to teachers.

They will also create new resources that are tailored to support teachers to deliver to students in vulnerable circumstances, reaching 250 children and teachers in co-production and a further 50 through teacher training.

Learn more about Just Finance FoundationOpens in a new window

NCFE, Campaign for Learning, and the Anna Freud Centre

Practitioner training and direct delivery for children and young people in vulnerable circumstances in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

NCFE and Campaign for Learning will partner with the Anna Freud Centre to design a targeted financial education programme for children and young people with special educational needs, autism spectrum disorder, and other social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties.

In addition to direct delivery to children through 800 families, they will train 800 practitioners and develop an online, animated toolkit tailored to support children and young people with specific learning needs.

They are also building an online map of family financial education providers to support access to local services across the UK.

Find out more about NCFEOpens in a new windowCampaign for LearningOpens in a new window and the Anna Freud CentreOpens in a new window

Quaker Social Action and St Christopher’s Fellowship

Training for practitioners working with care-experienced young people in England

Quaker Social Action, in partnership with St Christopher’s Fellowship, will engage 145 practitioners through training and train the trainer programmes and 20 children and young people through co-design of these programmes.

The aim of the programme is to make effective use of the financial education opportunities that arise within carers’ roles as they support young people at different life stages. By equipping care practitioners to replicate the positive aspects of financial education that occur within familial environments, the project aims to help children in care to achieve parity with other young people in this aspect of their development.

Find out more about Quaker Social ActionOpens in a new window and St Christopher’s FellowshipOpens in a new window


We are also separately funding our evaluation partner, Ecorys, to evaluate all seven projects.

This evaluation will inform future commissioning plans in financial education and the delivery of evidence-based, impactful interventions for children and young people.

The findings from the projects will be disseminated in 2024.

Get in touch

Want to find out more about this programme, or MaPS’ wider work to improve financial education for children and young people? Keep up to date by following the Money and Pensions Service on social media (TwitterOpens in a new window, LinkedInOpens in a new window, and YouTubeOpens in a new window), sign up for the monthly newsletter, or get in touch by emailing in a new window.

Published by:

Zoe Renton and Sophia Spence-Cheng, Policy Managers