Policy manager Sophia Spence-Cheng shares thoughts on a new £900,000 programme funded by the Money and Pensions Service that tests innovative ways to deliver meaningful financial education to children and young people across the UK.
Here at the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), we lead on a vast programme of policy, research, and insight to understand what works in the provision and delivery of financial education. However, there are areas that require further exploration, and the needs of some groups of children and young people remain unmet – and, while there are a laudable number of financial education interventions, only 48% of the UK’s children and young people currently receive a meaningful financial education.
Our newly launched Children and Young People Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme aims to explore these areas and address these unmet needs. As the Money Advice Service, we were invited to become an affiliate member of the What Works Network in 2018, and we as MaPS continue to create, share, and use high-quality evidence to inform decision-making. By taking a ‘test and learn’ approach, findings from our Innovation Programme will strengthen the evidence base of what works and best practice to support providers of financial education to deliver and fund meaningful financial education.
‘Test and learn’ to plug gaps in evidence
We’re working with a range of expert partners to conduct pilots that develop and test both new and existing solutions where there isn’t yet conclusive evidence of what works when it comes to achieving positive financial wellbeing outcomes for children and young people.
We have identified, via years of extensive analysis and stakeholder consultation, three priority areas for the programme:
- children under the age of seven years
- children and young people in vulnerable circumstances, and
- digital delivery of financial education.
Children under the age of seven years
Just Finance Foundation
Reaching up to 10,000 children, this pilot will develop a new programme and suite of resources to be delivered and used by teachers in primary schools. This will include a story book, game, and pull-out activities for four-to-seven-year-olds, as well as an online hub, blog, and social area for teachers. The programme will evolve around a young dinosaur character called Milo, who has a lot of questions about money, and be called ‘Milo’s Money’.
Learn more about Just Finance Foundation.
Campaign for Learning, NCFE, One Parent Families Scotland, Cardiff Parenting Team, and Bristol Community Learning Team
Building on existing evidence-based programmes such as Talk, Learn, Do, Family Fortunes, and Values, Money & Me, as well as emerging practice and feedback from expert partners, this pilot will develop a financial education programme for parents/carers and families with children under seven years old across Great Britain. Using a blended delivery model, it will include classroom and virtual group learning for parents, as well as remote learning via an online platform.
This pilot is being delivered by a consortium of organisations led by Campaign for Learning and NCFE, including One Parent Families Scotland, Cardiff Parenting Team, and Bristol Community Learning Team.
Young Enterprise Northern Ireland
Delivering two guided learning programmes for P1 to P3 children in Northern Ireland, this pilot will digitise one of the programmes, and then engage with schools across Northern Ireland to deliver the two programmes via storytelling activities to 2,000 children. An online platform for schools, with individual student logins to complete sessions, will also be provided.
Learn more about Young Enterprise Northern Ireland.
Children in vulnerable circumstances
The Money Charity with Teenage Cancer Trust
A collaboration between The Money Charity and Teenage Cancer Trust, this pilot will develop and deliver two tailored, virtual workshops for young people undergoing cancer treatment. One workshop will be for 13- to 17-year-olds and the other will be for 18-year-olds, with delivery of ten workshops, via an online platform, across several teenage cancer treatment centres in the UK.
Reaching 6,000 young people across Great Britain, this pilot will create a suite of lived-experience videos around money, spending, and financial planning for young wheelchair users, co-created with young wheelchair users themselves. The videos will be hosted on a website that is being developed for children and young people who are wheelchair users as part of a wider set of videos on life skills, fun activities, wheelchair skills and tips, and activity packs. The pilot will also include information leaflets/booklets to download, a digital information campaign, and a leaflet drop to 5,000 families.
Learn more about Whizz-Kidz.
Digital delivery of financial education
Taking a ‘learning by doing’ or ‘learning by earning’ approach, this pilot uses a digital platform to connect young people across the U.K. with opportunities to earn money. With an overall vision of “Creating a Financially Empowered Gen Z”, the digital platform also connects young people with opportunities to acquire skills. This pilot will also include situation-specific behavioural prompts or “nudges” as part of the learning content.
Learn more about MyPocketSkill.
Young Enterprise Scotland
Reaching 7,500 young people, this pilot will create an online portal with digital resources for practitioners across Scotland. The portal will include webinars, Continuing Professional Development sessions, self-directed e-learning content, an online financial education progression framework for the Scottish curriculum, and a searchable database of good practice examples.
Learn more about Young Enterprise Scotland.
We’re also funding an evaluation of our CYP Innovation Programme to help us share insight on the delivery of the pilots and their impact on children and young people’s financial wellbeing. We will be sharing these findings throughout the course of the pilots, so keep in touch for more information.
Our evaluation partner, Ecorys UK with the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol, will evaluate all seven pilots. The evaluation will inform future commissioning plans in financial education, encouraging larger-scale funding and delivery of evidence-based, impactful interventions for children and young people to achieve the vision of all children and young people receiving a meaningful financial education.
Final findings from our CYP Innovation Programme are expected by the end of September 2021, and MaPS will publish the final report in November 2021.
We want all children and young people to receive a meaningful financial education
Ultimately, we at MaPS want to support children and young people to achieve good financial wellbeing so that they can make the most of their money and pensions throughout life. We want to create a robust infrastructure that supports the effective provision of financial education in schools, at home, and in community settings. By doing so, we will support the delivery of the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, where the national goal is to ensure two million more children and young people receive a meaningful financial education by 2030.
Get in touch
Want to find out more about our CYP Innovation Programme, or MaPS’ wider work to improve financial education? Keep up to date by following the Money and Pensions Service on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube – sign up for the monthly newsletter, or get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.