Education Committee: financial elements of PSHE education should be statutory from KS1

May 23, 2024 11:17:16 AM
The Education Select Committee financial education inquiry has concluded that ‘Making the economic and financial elements of PSHE education statutory at both primary and secondary school level is a simple and effective way of expanding financial education at both levels and signalling the increased importance of the subject to all students.’

The cross-party Committee’s financial education report — published Wednesday 22 May — included this key recommendation in its call on Government to ensure pupils benefit from financial education from primary-age to finishing school at age 18.

The 2017 Children and Social Work Act allows an education secretary to expand what elements of PSHE education are statutory, without further legislation. Statutory PSHE education content is currently limited to relationships, sex and health education (RSHE), but this latest recommendation is just one example of widespread support in recent years for giving the same status to economic wellbeing education. The Committee report recommends that ‘The Secretary of State should make regulations, using powers under section 35 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, to provide for the personal and societal elements of financial education to be taught compulsorily in schools”.

The Committee found that despite consensus on the benefits and importance of financial education, the range of evidence received was ‘near unanimous’ that financial education, particularly in primary schools, is currently insufficient and should be expanded.

The report is clear on the value of PSHE education, Citizenship and Maths in supporting various important, but distinct, areas of financial education, and the need for a coherent approach when planning curriculum content for each subject. This is especially important at a time where children are economically active and using money at an increasingly young age — and with greater independence. And also due to the increased complexity of financial risks and harms facing children and young people.