"The safe spending and financial education argument is very topical in the House of Commons and within the APPG on Financial Education for Young People, and we will see how successful our efforts have been at making financial education compulsory when the debate on the curriculum is rolled out" said Mark Williams MP, speaking at a fringe event titled 'Teenagers, Money and Safe Spending' at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton.
Research conducted by the Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) and the National Childrens Bureau, found that 84% of 7-16 year olds felt that schools didn't do enough to teach them about money, said Tracey Bleakley, CEO of pfeg.
Out of those polled, 96% felt that schools have a responsibility to teach them about money matters.
A recent report from the APPG on Financial Education for Young People found that 84% of professionals said that one of the major factors involved in students dropping out of further education is mismanagement of student finance explained Bleakley.
This can involve how much money to set aside for food, as well as misconceptions about student finance, with some students thinking that a student loan will affect their credit rating.
Over the past twelve years, pfeg have been working with teachers to build confidence in how to teach financial education. This involved teaching about values, attitudes to risk, which things to save up for, and planning for different stages in life. The best results were obtained when financial education was embedded as part of a diverse range of subjects, such as geography and modern languages.
"Whilst there is not a statutory requirement to teach financial education in schools, it is part of the current curriculum review" explained Bleakley. She continued that even if it does get on the curriculum, it won't be compulsory for academies and free schools to teach financial education.
In order to address this issue, pfeg have set up a number of 'centres of excellence', in the form of best practise schools which can help other institutions in their area, combined with the use of the pfeg trust mark.
"This is a serious subject we need to get into people's minds as quickly and as early as possible, and it's great to hear that pfeg are hoping to introduce financial education from age four, in order to teach children the value of money, and help them to make sensible decisions" said Mike Crockart MP, who was co-chairing the event.
"There's never been such a good time, with the curriculum review, with 226 MPs supporting us with the APPG, with lots of people knowing about financial education, and young people needing it more than ever, there's never been a better time to get it onto the curriculum and into our schools. If you would like to help pfeg, please approach your local school and ask them if they teach financial education, and if they don't why not?
pfeg representatives will also be attending the Labour and Conservative conferences.