Finance teaching gets poor marks from Ofsted

Teaching personal finance in a cross-curricular programme - for example, within a maths syllabus or as part of citizenship studies - is not as effective as focusing on the subject in its own right.

This was the conclusion of re-search conducted by schools in-spectorate Ofsted on the provision of personal finance education in secondary schools and colleges.

The report, Developing Financially Capable Young People, found that the cross-curricular approach encouraged by the government often resulted in what it called a “…lack of coherence in provision and fragmented experiences for students”.

Ofsted also found that 75% of schools did not have systems to monitor students’ progress when it comes to developing financial capability.

In contrast, the report found that students taking accredited courses often had the most comprehensive understanding of personal finance.

It said: “Students valued accredited courses such as those provided by the ifs School of Finance which had the benefit of leading to nationally recognised qualifications. They were well supported by course materials and included continuous assessment of progress.

“The courses provided a coherent and progressive curriculum.”

Despite government statements that financial education is being delivered in schools, Ofsted highlighted the fact there is no statutory requirement for schools to teach it and as a result it is often a low priority.