Give your child a financial education... because school won't

Recently I looked at the latest GSCE options being offered by my old school, mainly out of curiosity to see how the curriculum has evolved as it has been some time since going through the ordeal myself. It baffled and frustrated but also did not really surprise me to see there was still no subject covering personal or general finance.

Yes, there is some financial literacy included in the national curriculum but these are not standalone lessons and are instead squeezed into other subjects. When it comes to academies and independent schools, well they have no obligation to teach them at all.

As a financial planner, I can say from experience that there are many adults who even up to retirement have a very limited understanding of their finances. Where there is understanding, it has always been self-taught, either voluntarily, through necessity or involuntarily after a wrong decision.

School is the last chance we have to provide meaningful financial literacy to future generations, so we can make better financial choices and know how to handle the consequences from bad ones.

The reality is there is no longer a script to follow - gone are the days where a good education secured a stable career which in turn gave us a reasonable pension and allowed us to buy an affordable home with the peace of mind that we will expire before our money does. As such it is becoming increasingly unaffordable to make the wrong financial decisions and as such either the fear, lack of understanding or a combination of both results in a perpetual state of inertia and a compounding negative impact on our financial situation.

Therefore, in the absence of any such subject being introduced, and even if it is, whether it would be fit for purpose, it is really up to us as parents and grandparents to intervene.

The good news is that outside of academia in the real world, companies have long been aware of the above issue and have taken action themselves to educate and support their staff. Some of these companies include banks and professional education firms that have gone further to launch their own financial literacy courses aimed at school-aged children which are affordable, fit for purpose, and relevant. There are also plenty of audiobooks, reading materials and online courses available, just search anything along the lines of 'Financial Literacy for Children' and

One structured course that provides certification is shown below but there are many more. If you have a child or grandchild and are worried about their financial future then maybe it is something worth looking into.

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