Financial Capability

Financial Capability

Financial capability is becoming more important as people are faced with increasingly complex financial decisions throughout their lives. The flexible labour market, lifelong learning, short-term contracts, and greater longevity all have serious implications for how we undertake financial planning. Financial choices and decisions will have significant consequences for future financial well-being. Financial capability is an important life skill for everyone; the ability to make sound financial decisions is the key to identifying and making best use of the opportunities in today’s changing world.

Many people are concerned about the numbers of people trapped in cycles of financial exclusion. Schools have an important part to play in empowering pupils for their future lives. Young people from financially advantaged homes may also lack financial understanding and fail to develop adequate personal financial capability unless provided with opportunities in school.

Financial capability means being able to manage money, keep track of your finances, plan ahead, choose financial products and stay informed about financial matters. When delivering Financial Capability, it is recommended to deliver it through the three interrelated themes:

  • financial knowledge and understanding – what money is, where it comes from and goes to;
  • financial skills and competence – budgeting, spending and saving, risk and return; and
  • financial responsibility – making personal choices and understanding the implications of finance.

Financial Capability in the Whole School Curriculum

Opportunities for the teaching and learning of financial capability occur across the curriculum and through young people’s everyday experiences inside and outside school. Many schools and teachers have found that personal finance provides a motivating and meaningful context to enrich many aspects of the formal curriculum as well as the informal curriculum, for example, work experience or planning school trips/events.

The foundation of good financial management does indeed require the acquisition of certain mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills, for example calculating numbers, interrogating tables, reading graphs, using percentages, and even rounding up. However, the development of these skills should not start and stop within the mathematics lessons. Remember, through the key elements, for example economic awareness and media awareness, and the cross-curricular skill Using Mathematics, other areas of learning will be required to develop the young person’s financial capability/economic awareness.

Areas of Learning

Mathematics and Numeracy
Mathematics (with Financial Capability)