University of Edinburgh researchers surveyed more than 2,500 16 to 18 year olds from 120 schools around the UK, before and after they received the new financial curriculum developed by charity Young Money.
Just 24% said they knew how to protect themselves against fraud or identity theft. After being taught by specially-trained teachers, this increased more than two-fold to 59%.
The pattern echoed throughout the survey. Student confidence grew:
- 46% (before) to 71% (after) reading a payslip
- 46% (before) to 73% (after) explaining a student loan to a friend
Half of the students said they had started to save or were now saving more. Just under one third (28%) had made changes to what personal information they share online.
Young Money trained more than 1,400 teachers to deliver the specialist financial capability lessons.
The programme was a response to the findings of a UK parliamentary enquiry, which found teacher confidence a significant barrier to better financial education.
After being trained themselves, the Edinburgh survey found 98% teachers felt better equipped to support young people developing financial capability.
Professor Tina Harrison led the study, she said:
“This is the largest systematic study providing clear evidence of the impact of Young Money’s financial education teacher training and resources on post-16 students’ financial capability. I believe all teachers of financial education in the UK should have access to such training and resources.”
Russell Winnard, Head of Programmes & Services, Young Money, said:
“In an increasingly complex financial world it is crucial that young people develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage their money well. Teacher training and high quality resources are at the heart of the support which Young Money provides.
“We have always believed that supporting schools to develop and deliver their own financial education provision is the most sustainable and impactful approach, and it’s great to have such comprehensive evaluation outcomes to support this.”
This project was part of the Money Advice Service’s What Work Funds and was the largest randomised control trial conducted in UK schools focussed on financial education.