Call for schools to teach Reading, Writing, Arithmetic….and Financial Literacy

Call for schools to teach Reading, Writing, Arithmetic….and Financial Literacy

A leading financial literacy advocate says the school curriculum needs to be expanded to include financial life skills for school age students.

Your Financial Wellness says with cash becoming rare and digital transactions taking over, equipping kids with financial know how has never been more important.

The program provides financial education, helping individuals build confidence and make sound financial decisions. For participating organisations, it provides invaluable insights to help develop better financial options in response to customer needs.

“Our school curriculum needs to go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic and include financial literacy,” Your Financial Wellness Chief Executive Alex Hassall said.

“We understand the challenge of an already crowded curriculum, but knowledge of the economy and financial system shouldn’t only be for those who choose economics or business in senior school. The role of parents in financial education is undeniable, but the impact of formal education is equally significant.”

Currently, only students who opt for or are required to study Business or Economics are gaining insights into vital concepts like interest rates, taxation, and economic functioning, said Hassall.

“This selective exposure is insufficient. With a curriculum that is both full and diverse, there's an urgent need to prioritise economic understanding more broadly. We are inadvertently doing a disservice to our youth,” Hassall said.

“Without adequate support from family or educational systems, we risk nurturing a generation acutely aware of issues like housing affordability but lacking practical knowledge on savings or entering the property market. This gap can contribute to widening intergenerational inequity.”

To address this, Your Financial Wellness recommends:

1.            Incorporation of financial literacy into any review of national curriculum standards.

2.            Empowering the proposed roundtable to explore methods for introducing accessible financial literacy content in schools, such as designated financial literacy days, morning teas, or guest speaker sessions.

3.            Presentation of roundtable recommendations to the National Cabinet (or equivalent) meeting of Education Ministers for further discussion and potential implementation.

 “The recommendations are made in a pre Federal Budget submission to the Albanese Government, which also includes calls for a financial literacy roundtable and national awareness campaign and measures to accredit only credible financial wellness providers rather than sharks and self-proclaimed but unqualified ‘finfluencers’,” Hassall said.

“Ensuring access to reliable and trustworthy financial wellbeing information is crucial in safeguarding the financial future of Australians.”

The original version of this story appeared as a media release from Your Financial Wellness.