North-east pupils are being given access to financial education through a project reaching all 28 secondary schools across Aberdeen city and shire.
The free copies of the Your Money Matters textbook – 75 per school – are targeted at young people in S4 and S5 but can be adapted for younger and older students.
It is hoped they will help to give pupils the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes towards money they will need as they gain greater independence.
The initiative has been rolled out across the city and shire this term as part of a UK-wide scheme.
Building money skills and confidence has never been more vital.”
Allison Barnes, Money and Pensions Service
It follows the launch of digital copies of the book and accompanying online teacher’s guide which were made available free of charge by Young Money – part of enterprise education charity Young Enterprise (YE) – and YE Scotland.
MaPS Scotland manager Allison Barnes said: “Learning about money when we’re young can have a direct impact on our ability to manage money later in life.
“However, only 45% of seven-17-year-olds in Scotland recall having had any financial education at school, which means too many young people are at risk of entering adulthood without being prepared for the money-related challenges that lie ahead.
“The launch of the Your Money Matters textbook in Scotland is a vital step towards equipping schools with the support they need to bring financial education to the forefront within the classroom and beyond.”
She added: “The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means building money skills and confidence has never been more vital.
“The textbook forms part of a £2 million UK-wide package by the Money and Pensions Service to support the delivery of meaningful financial education, including to 150,000 more children growing up in Scotland by 2030.”
By exploring a variety of themes around key topics such as saving, borrowing, security and fraud and the world of work, Your Money Matters – written by Your Money -aims to help students to become financially capable and learn to manage money successfully.
The 148-page textbook is mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence and has been trialled with teachers and students.
Breaking the cycle of debt
Mr Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, said: “The pandemic has shown the lack of personal financial resilience and preparedness of the UK as a whole.
“Not all of that can be fixed by improving financial education, but a chunk of it can. Of course, we need to educate people of all ages, yet young people are professionals at learning, so if you want to break the cycle of debt and bad decisions, they’re the best place to start.”
Education and Skills Secretary Shirley-Anne Sommerville said: “Financial education is an important part of the school curriculum, preparing young people with skills for life and work.
“I am grateful to Martin Lewis, Young Money and the Money and Pensions Service for ensuring Scotland’s teenagers can engage with and learn from this excellent resource.”
YE Scotland chief executive Geoff Leask said: “In an increasingly complex world, where young people face a huge variety of financial decisions, it is vital that firm financial foundations are put in place as early as possible in their life.
“Your Money Matters aims to help young people get to grips with these money choices, which will have such a massive impact on their future lives.”