Training teachers to deliver financial education is key to protecting students from identity theft and fraud

New research from financial education charity Young Money and the University of Edinburgh Business School has found that training teachers to deliver financial education has a long-term positive impact on young people’s ability to choose financial products and to protect themselves from the current rise in incidents of fraud and identify theft among their age-group. 

The key findings of the research regarding fraud and identity theft were:

·         Almost two-thirds (64%) of students whose teachers received the training were confident that they knew where victims of fraud and identity theft could seek help, compared with less than half (49%) of those whose teachers did not receive the training. The strength of confidence was also higher among those students whose teachers received the training; they were almost twice as likely to feel ‘completely confident’ that they knew where victims of fraud and identity theft can seek help.

·         Students whose teachers received the training were not only more likely to feel confident (84%) that they could recognise fraudulent communications, compared with students whose teachers had not been trained (66%), but were also almost 1.5 times more likely to feel ‘completely confident’ (41% compared to 29%).

 

Russell Winnard, Director of Programmes and Services at Young Money says: “The increasing accessibility and functionality of online digital financial services is a positive step for the vast majority of young people, however this can present additional challenges in how they keep their money safe and secure. Understanding the dangers and developing safety conscious habits from an early age is crucially important in preparing young people for future life and work. This is why we support teachers to deliver high quality financial education throughout the education system from age 3 onwards.”

 

The results of the follow-on study have also shown that training teachers to deliver financial education has a significant impact on students’ confidence in seeking financial advice more generally and in choosing financial products. The key findings are:

·         By the end of the study, almost two-thirds (63%) of students whose teachers received the training were confident that they knew where to go for financial advice, compared with around one-third (38%) of students whose teachers did not receive the training.

·         The strength of confidence among students whose teachers received the training was also greater compared with those whose teachers had not received the training: students were almost twice as likely to feel ‘completely confident’ about knowing where to go for advice, what sources of advice are available, and what sources of advice are reliable and trustworthy.

·         Seventy per cent of students whose teachers had been trained felt confident using advice to choose a financial product, compared to only 44% of students whose teacher had not been trained.

Professor Tina Harrison from the University of Edinburgh Business School says: “As students move on from school into further study, training or employment, it is vital they are equipped to make considered financial decisions and know where to go for financial advice. There are also six million young people with government-issued child trust funds, the first wave of which are due to mature in September 2020. These young people will need to be confident seeking advice and making decisions about what to do with this, in many cases, quite significant windfall. This project clearly shows the impact of high-quality financial education on the ability of young people to manage their money and make effective financial decisions.”

 

Zoe Renton, Policy & Propositions Manager at the Money and Pensions Service says: “We believe financial education is essential to ensuring all young people enter adulthood well-prepared to make the most of their money and pensions. We are pleased to support this worthwhile study, which increases our understanding of the long-term benefits of financial education, including helping students to protect themselves from fraud, seek financial guidance and choose the right products.”

 

 

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