Dimensions of financial education

  • • Knowledge and understanding: to inform young people’s judgements and decisions about managing money in their present and future lives.
  • • Appropriate attitudes that are reflected in taking personal responsibility for money management, questioning the claims of some financial products and evaluating available information before making financial decisions. [1]

Learning outcomes/standards

Learning outcomes are provided for each of the financial literacy concepts described above. Outcomes are expressed in terms of understanding, skills (what pupils will be able to do) and attitudes.

The following are the learning outcomes at key stage 3.

Pupils will understand:

  • • how wages/salaries are calculated;
  • • about different types of allowances and benefits available to me when I start independent life;
  • • different ways to pay goods and services and different forms of credit or debit arrangement;
  • • how holiday currency is arranged and how to calculate conversion rates;
  • • ways of choosing, opening and using different forms of bank account;
  • • how risk can be positive as well as negative and what basic financial decisions contain risks;
  • • how personal interest rates are calculated and how they vary according to the level of risk and length of commitment;
  • • the financial decisions are more about circumstances and personal choices than right answers;
  • • when typically insurance might be needed or not needed;
  • • how the stock market works, including positive and negative risks associated with it;
  • • the role of business in generating wealth- and what happens to it;
  • • how local services are paid for;
  • • the main forms of taxation;
  • • the role of charities and choices about giving to them;
  • • some effects of turbulence in the financial markets.

Pupils will be able to:

  • • estimate and calculate take-home pay for different occupations and circumstances;
  • • plan budgets for current weekly finances as a consumer;
  • • use different ways of recording spending and savings;
  • • choose financial products in different circumstances;
  • • find accurate information about choosing savings accounts and other financial products (minimising risk);
  • • consider the likelihood or otherwise of key national or international events affecting personal money;
  • • find and access advice about money.

Pupils will have explored attitudes to:

  • • priorities, needs, wants for the near future and later in life;
  • • how ineffective use of money can result in wasted resources;
  • • issues associated with gambling and how to avoid problems with it;
  • • environmental and ethical issues related to consumer choices.

The following are the learning outcomes at key stage 4.

Students will understand:

  • • how wages and salaries are calculated;
  • • how deductions such as tax, national insurance and pension contributes affect take home pay and what they are used for;
  • • implications of credit and debt (loans, overdrafts, mortgages), how costs accumulate over time;
  • • how insurance works and the types of insurance relevant to young people;
  • • how and why interest rates vary over time, according to the level of risk associated with them (including length of commitment) and how this can affect people;
  • • the differences between secured and unsecured loans and purchase agreements;
  • • the differences in risk and return between saving and investment products;
  • • the financial skills needed and risks involved in setting up and running a business;
  • • that private sector financial institutions make money through charging a higher rate of interest to borrowers than savers and by selling other financial services;
  • • how companies and other organisations are financed;
  • • how and why foreign exchange rates fluctuate;
  • • the main areas of national and local government finance and spending;
  • • rights and responsibilities re: financial products.

Students will be able to:

  • • identify financial qualities, attitudes and skills for employability;
  • • calculate young people’s earnings and benefits including Education Maintenance Allowance and student finance/loans;
  • • compare the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of payment;
  • • balance income and expenditure - weekly and longer term budgeting;
  • • interpret bills and personal finance statements, extracting key information;
  • • calculate compound interest including the significance of AER (annual equivalent rate) and APR (annual percentage rate);
  • • find, use and evaluate financial advice and information from Internet, product advertising, financial advisors, Citizens Advice Bureau;
  • • use their knowledge of the market to work out the best deal in products and services;
  • • use understanding to calculate exchange rates;
  • • make basic risk/reward assessment in relation to saving and borrowing (and quantify the risk on the basis of past data);
  • • develop a sense of financial risk and recognise and learn from mistakes in financial decisions.

Students will have explored attitudes to:

  • • financial implications of career and other personal life choices/priorities;
  • • social, emotional and cultural factors influencing financial decisions;
  • • sacrificing current spending for long term benefits (e.g. investments, pensions, further and higher education);
  • • the risks and rewards related to gambling;
  • • local, national and global decisions that affect finances and impact on personal lives;
  • • personal spending in relation to fair trade, ethical trading, ethical investment. Topics/issues covered and their goal

The framework does not provide a list of topics per se. However, PSHE education includes the majority of the curriculum’s explicit financial literacy content, located in the economic wellbeing and financial literacy programmes of study. The key financial literacy concepts are:


• understanding that everyone has a “career” (and that this will affect personal finance).


  • • exploring what it means to be enterprising;
  • • learning how to manage money and personal finances;
  • • becoming critical consumers of goods and services.


  • • understanding risk in both positive and negative terms;
  • • understanding the need to manage risk in the context of financial and career choices;
  • • taking risks and learning from mistakes.

Economic understanding:

  • • understanding the economic and business environment;
  • • understanding the functions and use of money.

Range and content (topics)

  • • personal budgeting, wages, taxes, money management, credit, debt, and a range of financial products and services;
  • • risk and reward, and how money can make money through savings;
  • • investment and trade;
  • • how and why businesses use finance;
  • • social and moral dilemmas about the use of money.

The framework also includes guidance about the key processes to be used to teach financial literacy and the curriculum opportunities.

Key processes Exploration:

• identify, select and use a range of information sources to research, clarify and review options and choices in career and financial contexts relevant to their needs.


  • • assess, undertake and manage risk;
  • • demonstrate and apply understanding of economic ideas.

Financial literacy:

  • • manage their money;
  • • understand financial risk and reward;
  • • explain financial terms and products;
  • • identify how finance will play an important part in their lives and in achieving their aspirations.

Curriculum opportunities:

  • • use case studies, simulations, scenarios, role play and drama;
  • • have direct and indirect contact with people from business;
  • • engage with ideas, challenges and application from the business world;
  • • make links between economic wellbeing and financial literacy and other subjects and areas.

Financial education learning framework in Japan (see also Appendix 3.A2)

  • [1] Financial skills that are demonstrated through day-to-day money management andplanning for future financial needs, such as budgeting for weekly householditems, monitoring bank accounts and credit cards and checking whether savingsand investments are meeting financial goals.
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