Introducing financial education to primary school children has become increasingly important to academic and policy researchers. This study examines the effectiveness of financial education schemes within schools in Whitley, a relatively deprived area of Reading, South East England. We used a participant-observation methodology to assess the impact of the school curriculum and other sources of financial education amongst primary school aged children in Whitley. The study found that the sophistication of financial planning displayed during the activities like budgeting was the main difference between children from schools with different levels of financial education, however individual experiences and parental influence also played an extremely important role. The results suggest the most effective method for delivering financial education is to incorporate the parents’ and the children’s experiences with money and not to rely just on financial education in the school curriculum.
Amy McAree has just graduated with an upper second-class honours BSc degree in Geography from Loughborough University. This research was carried out to meet the assessment requirements of a project at Reading University, completed during her placement year.