Students are not receiving enough debt management education in schools, say new surveys

Expert warns the country 'runs the very real risk of storing up long-term problems for the economy' as a result

Large numbers of young people are leaving school without being given any formal education on how to manage finances, according to two new surveys.

Financial educational charity, ifs University College, published its Young Persons' Money Index after polling the views of 2,000 15 to 18-year-olds to find almost 70 per cent will leave school ‘dangerously unprepared’ just as they are about to take on greater independent financial responsibility, including taking out loans or managing budgets.

Results also showed how financial education at GCSE level – which is now statutory within the curriculum – is also stark, with 59 per cent still not receiving any form of formalised monetary learning.

Because of a lack of teaching, ifs University College said teenagers are being forced to turn to parents, the media, friends, and even social media accounts as sources to fill the gap.

Vice Principal Alison Pask hit out at schools and said: “It is the height of irresponsibility to send so many young people off from full-time education without even a basic grasp of personal money management.”

Describing how the country runs ‘the very real risk’ of storing up long-term problems for the economy just as students begin to make life-long financial decisions, she added: “Informal financial education – be it from social media, the news, or other influences – is no substitute for age-appropriate, structured, and consistent education, delivered by trained teachers.”

With over 511,000 people entering the UK higher education system this academic year, according to Ucas, online discount codes site MyVoucherCodes also polled 2,864 UK adults aged over 18 to find 65 per cent say young adults do not receive adequate education on debt management, and that schools should offer more.

According to the survey, Britain is currently seeing record numbers of people battle high levels of personal debt, with the amount owed by households topping £173bn.

Founder of the site, Mark Pearson, described how many people believe debt management education needs to be covered in schools, not just by adults, but by students also as 50 per cent of 586 students aged 18 to 21 said schools should do more.

Mr Pearson acknowledged how the feedback shows that, currently, there is not enough education and advice available in schools at the moment, warning: “I believe this is something that needs to be tackled now – before it gets worse.”

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