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Financial Education video

Teachers' Q&A with Martin Lewis, Sep 2014

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MoneySavingExpert.com and its creator Martin Lewis have played a big part in pushing for financial education to become part of the national curriculum. That's why we're really pleased, from September 2014, it forms part of citizenship for 11-16-year-olds and maths for 5-14-year-olds, and will be taught in all 'maintained' schools in England.

To help teachers take on the challenge of delivering fun financial lessons we asked them for their questions. In the 30 minute video below Martin answers ten of the questions, sharing his tips and topics on what could be covered in a class.

Watch the Teachers Q&A

Financial Education: Teachers Q&A with Martin Lewis - September 2014

Financial education joins the National Curriculum in England this September. Martin Lewis answers teachers' questions, sharing his tips and topics on what could be covered in a class.

What's in the Q&A video?

The ten questions, along with a summary of what Martin says and links to related resources, guides and websites, are as follows:

What are the most important points a teacher needs to cover?

Whatever you decide to include it's important to ensure your students come away knowing how to question what they're buying. There are lots of issues you could cover but the three big ones, covered in more detail in the Teen Cash Class guide, are:

Are you aware of any resources other than the amazing MSE website?

We have resources on the MSE website, such as the Teen Cash Class guide, but the ultimate portal is the pfeg resources database. This includes 100s of resources on various topics from a wide range of organisations.

You often talk about good debt, bad debt. Isn't debt just debt?

Borrowing is not always black or white and there aren't always rights and wrongs. If you've planned for borrowing, can afford to repay it and it's as cheap as possible debt can be good. Borrowers need to objectively weigh up the pros and cons before making the decision to borrow.

My students have no idea what APR means. Can you explain it to them for me?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and includes all interest, fees and charges for a debt over a year.

Should we be teaching more about the cost of other choices at 18, not just going to university?

If it's not being covered by your careers department it's important to teach how student finance works, as the politics has taken over the underlying finance message. Going to university is a no-win no-fee system as the amount you repay when you leave is based on how much you earn not how much you've borrowed.

It's also important to look at household budgeting, and know what counts as student income, so that when they move to their own place they know how to balance the books.

Can you explain to my class what a credit ratings is and the effect of it being damaged?

When you apply for credit each lender will decide if it wants to lend to you by trying to predict your future behaviour. This is based on how risky it thinks you will be based on what it already knows about you or how you've dealt with other lenders.

Should schools be using existing teachers or bringing in outside expertise to teach this subject?

Ideally classes will be carried out by teachers but as it's a real life practical subject it could be helped by bringing in people who have a financial background as they can discuss issues from a different perspective.

Is school age too early to be teaching students how to understand their first payslip?

No, focusing on income is as important as talking about expenditure. Also talk about the marginal nature of income tax for both employed and self-employed career choices.

How do I get my class to understand the value of switching current accounts or energy providers when the choices are all the same?

Companies have two core functions - price and customer service. In both of these areas there are differences that are worth switching for and ultimately being better with money means you've more in your pocket to spend on things you'll enjoy instead of boring bills.

I teach Special Educational Needs, how do I teach my class about complex things like APR when they don't understand a cash machine isn't an endless supply of money?

It's more important to get some of the message across than all of the message so keep it simple.

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