Schools should provide more opportunities for pupils to develop and use their financial skills


A minority of primary schools and a majority of secondary schools do not provide pupils with enough opportunities to develop and apply their financial skills in challenging and relevant activities across the curriculum.


A report published today by Estyn on Financial education in primary and secondary schools in Wales found that recent changes to the curriculum have helped most schools identify opportunities for pupils to develop their financial skills in mathematics lessons and in other subjects.  

In the best schools, teachers plan a variety of activities that match pupils’ age and ability and challenge them to develop their financial skills across the curriculum. For example, in one primary school, pupils attend a weekly savings club where they bank and keep track of their savings and play games that develop their skills with money. 

Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector, says,

“Schools have a responsibility to ensure that pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to manage money confidently. To do this, they should provide enough opportunities for pupils to develop and apply their financial skills across the curriculum. For example, in primary school geography pupils could compare different websites to plan a holiday and learn about budgeting and value for money.” 

The report also found that, while the majority of schools assess numeracy skills, very few focus specifically on financial skills. The report recommends that schools should monitor and evaluate the quality of teaching and learning in this area more closely. 

Schools should provide staff with appropriate training to improve the financial education they offer and local authorities and consortia should review their numeracy training programmes. The Welsh Government should further promote its guidance on effective financial education and include in it a database of useful resources to support teachers. 

About the report

Estyn’s report ‘Managing Money: Financial education in primary and secondary schools in Wales’ was commissioned by the Welsh Government and is available in full at http://www.estyn.gov.wales/thematic-reports

The findings and recommendations of this report draw on an analysis of inspection findings, telephone interviews with schools visited for the previous remit or schools with good practice in financial education, and online surveys of schools and regional consortia representatives.

Schools that participated in the telephone survey: 

  • Bishop Hedley Catholic High School, Merthyr Tydfil 
  • Blackwood Primary School, Caerphilly 
  • Fitzalan High School, Cardiff 
  • Kymin View Primary School, Monmouth 
  • Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, Swansea 
  • Rumney Primary School, Cardiff 
  • Ton-y-Ywen Primary School, Cardiff 
  • Ysgol Golwg y Cwm, Powys 
  • Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, Cardiff 

Publication date

Tuesday, 11 July, 2017