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Financial education - What parents need to know

As many of you already know, financial education will be formally included in the National Curriculum for the first time this September. What you might not know, is exactly what this means your children and teens will be learning. To give you an idea we’ve put together an overview of the topics each age group will be covering and how this will be taught.


Ages 7 to 11

Children within this age range will be taught modules in financial education within their maths classes. These will include:

  • To recognise and use symbols for pounds (£) and pence (p) and how to combine different amounts to make a particular value
  • To find different combinations of coins that equal the same amounts of money
  • To solve simple problems involving addition and subtraction of money, including giving change
  • To recognise the percent symbol (%) and understand that percent relates to ‘number of parts per hundred’

This will give children the ability to recognise, add and subtract in pounds and pence. So enable them to work out how many 20ps are in a pound or how much change is due when buying 2 45p apples with £1.


Ages 11 to 14

Children of this age group will be taught financial education modules within both Maths and Citizenship classes. These will include:

  • To Interpret and solve problems, included in financial mathematics
  • To solve problems involving percentage change, including; percentage increase, decrease and original value problems and simple interest in financial mathematics
  • To calculate or estimate gradients of graphs and areas under graphs in financial contexts

Within citizenship classes, pupils should be taught about the functions and uses of money, the importance and practice of budgeting and managing risk. 13 and 14 year old children will go on to be taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

They will also further their understanding of how to create a budget, balance income and expenditure to achieve budgeting goals. This will encompass the difference between ‘needs and wants’ how to make ‘sound financial decisions’ and how to research and shop around for the best deal.

Your children will learn about bank accounts and bank statements. Skills such as how to open a bank account and read a bank statement as well as an understanding of cheques, debit and credit cards.

Further understanding of the economy and the interaction with foreign currencies will be taught to older children and teens. Cost of living, taxes, National Insurance and Pensions will be included in this. They will also cover loans, mortgages and credit ratings, various cultural attitudes towards borrowing and lending.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum#curriculum-by-key-stages


Carry on Financial education at home

So, what can parents do to help further children's learning at home? Well, depending on the age of your child, there are a number of simple exercises that will help you continue their learning:

For 7-11 years

Finding ‘teachable moments’ is the most powerful way of allowing children to experience what they have been learning at school. During your trip to Sainsbury’s, give children the change you have with you and get them to find a number of products that cost exactly that much.

On the way home, give them your receipt and get them to work out how much 50% or 20% of the total is.

For 11-14 years

If you’re buying a new kitchen appliance, involve your child in the process. Get them shopping around for the best deal and thinking about cost versus quality to get the best deal. Get them to work out if deals are cheaper, calculating the percentage savings.

For more information on how to teach children how to manage money responsibly, see the ‘helping hands’ section on our website.

goHenry, a unique earning, saving and spending solution. Perfect for parents with children from 8-18.

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One thought on “Financial education - What parents need to know

  1. I can't believe in these recent times of recession, and double-dip recession, and the warning signs we've had previously, that ALL schools aren't giving mandatory lessons in finance and savings, and the importance of it. I'm a 27 year old guy who has had a lot of troubles with money, having 3 high-interest credit cards, pay-day loans, no savings, still living with my mum etc etc. I'm not saying the lessons would of helped, and obviously everyone is different, but it needs to be tried and tested. I have heard in recent news of one school that is offering these kind of lessons (in Yorkshire I think, but I could be mistaken), but it should be an essential lesson, as much as maths, English and science.

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