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First-ever financial education textbook to hit schools in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland, funded by Martin

The first-ever curriculum mapped financial education textbook to hit schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – funded jointly by founder Martin Lewis and the Money & Pensions Service – has been announced today, following the successful roll-out of the original version in England.

Update: 17 June 2021: Physical copies of the book have now been delivered to Scottish and Northern Irish schools, in addition to schools in England. Digital copies of the guide, and in some cases teachers' guides too, are also available for anyone to download for free: 

In November 2018, 340,000 copies of the very first financial education textbook in the UK, Your Money Matters, were distributed to English secondary schools. The book (pictured above) was funded by Martin with a personal donation of £325,000 to the financial education charity Young Money.

Now over 45,000 copies of new versions of the book will be sent free to 700 schools in the rest of the UK over the next 14 months, along with an accompanying teacher's guide (which will be available digitally). 

The Money & Pensions Service and Martin Lewis are splitting the cost of the £368,000 project.

You can download a free PDF of the English edition of the textbook now. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish editions of the textbook will also be available as a free PDF download to anyone who wants them in due course.

Martin: 'Young people are professionals at learning. If you want to break the cycle of debt, they're the best place to start' founder Martin Lewis, who donated to support the textbook in a personal capacity, 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.

"I was one of those at the forefront of the campaign to get financial education on the national curriculum in 2014, and we celebrated then thinking the job was done. We were wrong. Schools have struggled with resources and there's been little teacher training.

"Something else was needed to make it easy for schools and teachers. So even though I questioned whether it's right that a private individual should fund a textbook, no one else would do it, so I put pragmatics over politics and did it in 2018.

"I'm delighted that now we've proved the success of that book in England, the Money & Pensions Service has agreed to team up to provide this much-needed resource for the rest of the UK's nations – adding a rightful sense of officialdom to the whole project."

Martin discusses the textbook on ITV

Embedded YouTube Video

What will the textbook cover?

Your Money Matters is aimed at supporting the financial capability of those aged 14 to 16, but the reality is that it's been used across multiple year groups and within a wide range of subject areas. It covers savings, interest, money, mental health, budgeting, debt, APR, student finance, apprenticeships, earnings, tax, pensions, gambling, investments, identity theft, fraud and much more.

Since being delivered into every state-funded secondary school in England, 89% of teachers said that Your Money Matters would improve the quality of financial education in their schools. Additionally, 88% of teachers said the textbook would increase their confidence to deliver financial education.

The educational textbook contains facts and information as well as interactive activities and questions for students to apply their knowledge. The chapters are as follows:

1. Savings – ways to save, interest, money and mental health
2. Making the most of your money – budgeting, keeping track of your budget, ways to pay, value for money, spending
3. Borrowing – debt, APR, borrowing products, unmanageable debt
4. After school, the world of work student finance, apprenticeships, earnings, tax, pensions, benefits
5. Risk and reward – investments, gambling, insurance
6. Security and fraud – identify theft, online fraud, money mules

While the key financial topics will remain largely the same, a review in each nation – consisting of focus groups with teachers and devolved government representatives for education – is being conducted to identify the amendments required. This will ensure that the textbook in each nation maps to the respective education curriculum, as well as taking into account the specific needs and financial legislation in each country.

Once complete, up to 75 copies will be delivered for free to every secondary school in each nation. 12,000 copies will be rolled out to Northern Ireland by January 2021, 21,500 will be rolled out to schools in Scotland by March 2021, and 12,500 will be issued to Welsh schools by September 2021.

Sample questions from the book

Below are some sample questions from the book to test your knowledge (answers at the bottom of the story – no cheating...):

1.     Explain the advantage of compound interest compared to simple interest.

2.     Which is better for a saver – an account which calculates interest daily, monthly or yearly?

3.     Do you know what your personal savings allowance is?

4.     Explain the difference between APR and AER.

5.     What does the term PAYE stand for?

6.     Explain the difference between a standing order and a direct debit.

7.     What is the difference in law between returning a faulty good within 30 days and after 30 days?

8.     How might changes in the UK base rate of interest affect borrowers?

9.     What is the total amount of savings per authorised institution that are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

10.  What is phishing?

What does Young Money say?

Sharon Davies, chief executive at Young Money and Young Enterprise, said: "We are thrilled that Young Money is able to develop the Your Money Matters textbook for every UK nation. Financial education is critically important for all young people, and it is fantastic that the difference this has already made within England can now be extended to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We look forward to working with our partners in each of these nations over the next year."

Money & Pensions Service strategy and insights director Sarah Porretta said: "We know that learning about money when we're young can have a direct impact on the ability to manage money later in life. However, too many young people are entering adulthood without being prepared for the money-related challenges that lie ahead.

"The launch of the Your Money Matters textbook in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is a vital step towards more teachers having the confidence, skills and knowledge to teach financial education. As part of our UK strategy for financial wellbeing, we want to see a further two million children and young people getting a meaningful financial education, so that they become adults able to make the most of their money and pensions."

Answers to the sample questions

1. Compound interest means you get interest on interest. So if you earn interest in year one, in year two you get the interest both on what you saved and on the interest in the first year. Simple interest does not do this, meaning that at the same rate, over time the compound interest method will generate a higher amount in interest.

2. A daily calculation is better for a saver (this is actually the method most financial institutions use).

For example, take a look at the following table, which shows what would happen if banks were to calculate the interest payable on £5,000 at a rate of 3% for five years over different compounding periods.









3. A basic-rate taxpayer (20% tax on income) can earn £1,000 interest on savings per tax year without paying tax on it.

Higher-rate taxpayers (who move into the 40% tax bracket) can earn £500 interest on their savings before being taxed.

Additional-rate taxpayers (whose income extends into the 45% tax bracket) get no allowance.

4. The interest rate you receive when you save money in an account is known as the annual equivalent rate (AER). The annual percentage rate (APR) is what you are charged for borrowing products. Both take into account any fees and charges.

5. Pay as you earn. This is the way most employees pay tax – it is deducted by the employer – so the amount of money received comes after tax is taken off.

6. Standing order: You are in control. You instruct your bank to pay the money to a particular person or company, and it is your responsibility to change the payment details (eg, the date or amount) if they need to be changed.

Direct debit: An instruction to your bank to release money from your account to pay bills and other amounts automatically. The billing company has control.

7. If you return a faulty item within 30 days, you are entitled to a full refund. You can still return the item after this, but the supplier can then offer a repair or replacement instead.

8. The official UK interest rate (often called the base rate) is reviewed and set eight times a year by the Bank of England. Many lenders, especially with mortgages, tend to move their rates in line with this rate – so when it rises, so do they. Some rates are directly linked to it, but at other times the lender can choose whether and how much it tends to match it depending on its own competitive advantage. Yet some rates, such as fixed-rate mortgages or high-interest credit cards, may not move at all.

9. The FSCS protects up to £85,000 per authorised institution or up to £1,000,000 for six months after major life events (eg, a death or the sale of a house).

10. Phishing is a criminal activity which attempts to mislead people into providing personal information and often bank account details. This is often done online through the sending of fake emails or pop-up messages.

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