GoHenry Advocates for Mandatory Financial Education in UK Primary Schools

Published 7 months ago

Children’s financial education app and prepaid debit card company, GoHenry, is championing a campaign for the UK government to enforce financial education in primary schools. The campaign, #makemoneycount, has a primary objective of enabling young generations to make well-informed decisions in their adult lives by equipping them with financial knowledge and skills.

Studies suggest that children develop financial habits early in life, and those who are financially educated are more likely to secure high-paying jobs in the future. The campaign, therefore, has potential long-term benefits for the individuals as well as the wider economy.

Addressing Teachers’ Workload Concerns

A major concern for educators is the possibility of an increased workload. To address this, Louise Hill, co-founder and CEO of GoHenry, suggests that financial education could be implemented as an external teaching model. The responsibility, according to Hill, would not rest solely on the teachers but would be a collaborative effort involving the government, parents, and charities.

Support from Government and Charities

Peter Gibson MP, Conservative MP for Darlington, supports the initiative, stating that no Parliamentarian is against providing young people with a comprehensive financial education program. Gibson sees this as a transformative move that could significantly impact individuals’ financial outcomes and the broader economy.

The campaign has also been endorsed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, MP Peter Gibson, and charities including the Centre for Financial Capability and MyBnk. Sunak has previously addressed financial education with his ‘Maths to 18’ plan, but GoHenry believes that the Prime Minister can do more to enhance financial literacy.

The Importance of Practical Money Skills

GoHenry argues that while mathematics is vital, the government should prioritize providing students with practical skills necessary to navigate real-world finance. The company points out that most primary schools currently do not teach financial education, despite a Cambridge University study indicating that money habits are formed during this period.

GoHenry’s research suggests that prioritizing financial education could inject an additional £200 billion into the UK economy by 2050. This would be achieved by creating financially savvy individuals and boosting entrepreneurship.

The need to prioritize money skills and make room for financial education in all schools has never been more pressing, according to Hill. She asserts that introducing financial education at an early age will have long-term benefits for the economy.

The Children’s Perspective

From a child’s perspective, 12-year-old Mal’achai stated the importance of learning about money in school. He believes that it will teach him and his peers how to save, spend wisely, and plan for their futures. Mal’achai is already saving his pocket money for new toys and holidays, but he thinks school could offer more comprehensive lessons about money management.