In 2017 the government chose the CFFC to develop and roll out a nationwide programme in schools to help young people become financially capable, and gave us $10 million over four years to get it done.
The name of the programme will be Sorted in Schools, tying in with our well-known sorted.org.nz website. Education professional Mr Kelly Gay came on board to drive the project, and work is underway. Research has identified secondary students as having the greatest immediate need for financial capability education, so our efforts are focused on those in Years 9-13. In a CFFC survey of school leavers we found:
• 82% said they wanted to learn about money in class time rather than extra-curricular
• The two top things students wanted to know more about were 1) budgeting and 2) borrowing money and loans
• Students say they that if they learn anything about financial capability it’s currently mostly at home and much less at school
• When asked about what they learned at school the responses varied greatly, showing mixed experience
Sorted in Schools will provide quality, consistent learning to be incorporated into the curriculum at each year level. We will arrange for professional development for teachers so they feel confident in teaching financial capability, and digital, interactive resources they can use with their students.
Between us, we will help prepare today's young people to make wise financial decisions at each life stage, enabling them to live the life they want and arrive at retirement in good financial shape.
Why is teaching financial capability at school important?
New Zealand's ageing population means that the young of today are facing a very different future than their grandparents: when today's young people reach their 60s and 70s the ratio of New Zealanders aged 65+ will be 1:4. There will be only 2.5 workers for every retiree. Our children need to reach retirement in good financial shape so they can support themselves more and rely on the government less, and that takes a lifetime of planning.
School is one of the best places to start learning. CFFC research has shown that 16-24 year-olds are particularly vulnerable in incurring unmanageable levels of debt, which can send them down a financial rabbit hole from which they may never recover. The aim of Sorted in Schools is to equip these students with financial capability so they avoid the traps of high credit, loans and other forms of financial quicksand, and know how to build their financial wealth through every life stage toward retirement.
Are students keen?
In a CFFC survey of school leavers, 82% said they wanted to learn about money in class time. The two top things students wanted to know more about were budgeting and borrowing money/loans.
See the survey summary (PDF, 980KB).
Who should teach financial capability in schools?
Research has shown that the most effective way to for students to absorb knowledge is if it is taught by a teacher, in their classroom, as part of the curriculum. The CFFC will provide the initial resources and help train teachers in how to deliver financial capability through professional development programmes, but ultimately the job of teaching should remain with the teachers.
What’s the action plan?
The CFFC’s National Manager - Schools, Mr Kelly Gay, is now working with teachers to develop teaching resources, including exemplar answers and teacher support packages to help them become familiar with the content and share cross-curricular ideas. We will then pilot the content in our cluster schools.
We welcome enquiries from schools interested in more information, and participating in our content development and pilot programmes: please click the 'Expression of Interest' link below
At a governance level Kelly is working closely with the Ministry of Education, NZQA, the Tertiary Education Commission and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to ensure Sorted in Schools aligns with New Zealand education policy and is incorporated into the curriculum.
Sorted in Schools will be rolled out gradually between 2018-2021.