Personal Finance Education at English Schools


“Personal finance education at English schools” analyses another edu-regulatory programme—personal finance education at school. To do so, it looks at the Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg). The Pfeg leads the national campaign to educate children across England in finance. Its campaigns and programmes are endorsed and financially supported by the UK government and the Financial Conduct Authority. The chapter examines the structure, organization and activities of the Pfeg, to demonstrate the government’s and the Financial Conduct Authority’s complex and challenging task to bring personal financial education to English schools. It argues that the project of school financial education as run and operated by the Pfeg celebrates the interests of the finance industry. The chapter exposes a deep tension within this project, where the interests of the financial sector are not easily and comfortably aligned with the interests of the schools, children and their parents. This tension is further examined through the analysis of educational programmes and materials produced by the Pfeg. The principal contention of the chapter is that the Pfeg’s educational programmes and projects fail to deliver well-balanced and fair finance education to English schools. Instead, these educational materials are used by large financial firms to market and sell their financial products and services to existing and prospective consumers: teachers, children and their parents.