While many schools have been teaching money management during lessons for many years, the compulsory addition of financial education to the national curriculum has been a long time coming.
It's hoped that it will better equip your children with the knowledge they need to make smart financial decisions when faced with managing their own money. This is what will be included in the curriculum to help make this happen:
Key Stage 1 (5-7 years old) - Pupils will be taught to recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes, and find different combinations of coins that equal the same amount of money. They will learn to solve problems involving adding and subtracting money of the same unit.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 years old) - By year five and six pupils will learn to use all four operations (add, subtract, multiply and divide) to solve problems involving measure (e.g. money) using decimal notation.
Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old) - Children will be taught to solve problems involving percentage change including simple interest in financial mathematics.
Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old) - Pupils will be taught the functions and uses of money, the importance and practice of budgeting, and managing risk.
Key Stage 4 (14-16 years old) - Children will cover income and expenditure, credit and debit, insurance and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.
Is this enough?
Although this is a great step forward, it's important to remember the national curriculum is only compulsory in maintained primary and secondary schools, which means that around 50% of schools do not have to teach financial education.
The national curriculum is only set of guidelines, so the way the subjects are covered will be mainly up to the individual school and the quality of the teaching will be dependent upon the knowledge and enthusiasm of the teacher.
Another criticism of the new curriculum is that there is no requirement for students to continue financial education after the age of 16. It could be argued that at age 17 and 18 is when students will get the most benefit from personal finance education as they approach higher education or the world of work.
Would it not be better to teach an 18 year old about insurance and mortgages rather than a 14 year old, who may not need either for a further 4 years?
What can you do to support your child's learning?
The curriculum only acts as a guideline for what you child should be taught. To get a clearer idea of what they'll cover you should contact their school directly and speak to their teacher. This way you can better support what they are learning in class, rather than potentially confusing them with a different approach.
One of the best ways you can teach your children about good money management is by demonstrating it yourself at home. It is thought that how money is dealt with at home has a bigger influence on children than what happens in the classroom.
Try to display good habits where possible and your children should pick on these. In the long run this will have a more lasting effect on their attitude towards money than an hour a week learning about mortgages!
If you'd like to get a more detailed feel for what your child will be learning at each key stage and how you can help have a read of our guides;