Just one hour of financial education works

The Money Charity’s Money Workshops have a significant positive effect on the financial capability of young people, in terms of confidence and perception of knowledge, even when the majority of students experience only one one-hour workshop.

This is one of the findings of a new school-level randomised controlled trial (RCT) exploring the impact of The Money Charity’s ‘Money Workshops’ on students’ financial capability that has been published today.

The RCT study found that the Money Workshops were effective at improving students’ self-reported confidence in managing money, how much students feel they know about savings and credit, and how much students feel they know about planning and budgeting. It was also found that teacher capability to deliver financial education themselves was improved by attending the workshops, an unintended but welcomed consequence.

The Money Charity commissioned The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), an independent evaluator, to provide an independent evaluation of their Money Workshops in Schools and Colleges for Key Stage 4 and post-16 students, as part of the Money Advice Service financial capability ‘What Works Fund’. The Money Workshops make money and finance engaging and relevant and aim to increase students’ confidence, knowledge and skills relating to money matters. They are delivered in hour-long interactive sessions to classroom-sized groups by trained consultants.

Michelle Highman, Chief Executive at The Money Charity said: “We are delighted that the results show that our Money Workshops work. Our Money Workshops have a significant positive impact on students’ confidence and perceptions of knowledge around money months later. In addition, teachers felt that their ability to deliver financial education themselves had been enhanced”.

Dr Ben Styles, Head of NFER’s Education Trials Unit said: “Young people have limited opportunities to learn about managing money and finances and our findings from this evaluation emphasise the importance and relevance of financial education to equip young people with the confidence they need to manage their money. Studies of this type use self-reported proxies for behaviour change so are always limited but given that most students received just one workshop, the effects seen are impressive. The Money Charity and financial capability stakeholders will be using these findings to inform financial capability policy and practice more widely.”

Sarah Porretta, UK Financial Capability Director at the Money Advice Service said: “We’re pleased to be able to support projects like this through our What Works Fund. These encouraging results highlight exactly what we set out to do with the fund: helping organisations understand which interventions work so that every penny spent makes a real difference to people’s lives. Going forward, the findings from this study will prove invaluable in the practice and delivery of young people’s financial education.”