By Felicity Anderson

Up to 80% of primary school teachers across England and Wales believe that financial education should be part of the curriculum.

Concerned that increasing use of digital payment methods is seeing children’s arithmetic skills suffer while making money seem, ‘intangible,’ 69% of teachers also believe that parents should get increased support to teach kids about money.

The research comes from Insurance company, Prudential’s financial education programme,’Cha-Ching,’ in partnership with Young Money, which provides teachers and parents with online resources to teach younger children about personal finance.

Its findings were recently shared with MP’s at a recent meeting chaired by Julian Knight MP, concerning, ‘financial education and how it can improve social mobility and the importance of early intervention,’ reports Mortgage Introducer.

“Never been more important”

Jane Rawnsley, Head of Prudential’s Cha-Ching financial education programme, says:

“Getting children comfortable with the concept of money, its value and the cost of day-to-day items has never been more important.”

She adds,

“But digital technology making it easier to pay for things is making money appear more intangible than ever before. The basics of earning, spending and saving should be instilled in children from as early an age as possible, and teachers recognise this.”

Personal debt continuing to rise

The programme comes at a time when personal debt continues to rise, with total credit lending reaching £207.5 billion by the end of January this year, up from £194.3 billion at the same time last year, according to figures from Moneyexpert.

What is, ‘Cha-ching’?

Originating in Asia, ‘Cha-ching,’ has been developed for UK use and is designed to equip primary school children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make informed money decisions.

It is built around animated music videos and uses dedicated Teacher and Family Zones, providing various resources and downloads for teachers and parents.

In the ‘family zone,’ you can find helpful activities and challenges, such as the ‘family savings challenge,’ including advice and a printable savings chart.

Support from teachers and schools

‘Cha-ching,’ has been used by approximately 650 primary schools in the UK so far, with most teachers showing enthusiasm for teaching children about how to manage their money wisely.

One of the major concerns identified by the research was our greater dependence on cards and contactless payments, with 67% of teachers expressing concerns that children’s mental arithmetic skills were suffering as a consequence.

81% of teachers, meanwhile, said that children aged seven to 11 years old do not have as good an understanding of money matters as they should.

Currently, only a fifth of primary school pupils (21%) learn about money at school every week, with the majority receiving financial education on an ad hoc basis.

75% of teachers would be confident teaching children about money if school timetables permitted it, while only 11% said they did not feel qualified to cover the subject.