What is financial literacy

What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy has often been defined purely in terms of ‘personal financial education’. Concern is frequently expressed about the capability of individuals in managing their own finances and avoiding levels of debt which they are unable to repay. Given the number of people who get themselves into serious financial difficulties this is an important social objective. Schools have their part to play in equipping young people to avoid these problems. However, this approach to financial literacy appears to lay all the responsibility for financial problems on to individuals. In the light of successive financial scandals and the financial crisis of 2008 this is a difficult position to take. There is, therefore, an argument for extending financial literacy to include knowledge and understanding of bank and government behaviour as well as personal financial management. The document below introduces a framework for a broader definition of financial literacy.

Download Financial Literacy Briefing 1: What is Financial Literacy? (PDF, 93KB)

Assessing financial literacy

Assessment is important for teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum. How else can teachers and students clarify what progress is being made and what to aim for in the future? But assessment tends to have a lower profile ‘non-core’ areas of the curriculum, such as financial literacy. One line of work being followed at the University of Birmingham is the development and evaluation of some assessment items which can be used in schools to assess financial literacy.

Download Financial Literacy Briefing 2: Assessing Financial Literacy (PDF, 123KB) 

Consultancy and Presentations 

World Bank Report on Budget Literacy

Peter Davies provided advice to the World Bank for their case study on England as part of their report on Budget Literacy in 2016. He was also asked to review the entire report and to take part in a final review meeting. (see https://saeguide.worldbank.org/budget-literacy-campaigns)

Presentation on Pupil agency in learning about debt to the Financial Education Forum Meeting at the Bank of England May 11th 2016

Peter Davies reported on research with John Kirkman on an approach to developing students’ understanding of debt. This approach combines insights from ‘Variation Theory’ with a lesson design that gives agency to the pupil.

Download Powerpoint presentation

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Literacy

Working with colleagues from CHASM (Professor Andy Lymer and Dr. Lee Gregory) Professor Peter Davies reviewed the submissions in 2016 to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education. This work contributed to the report produced by the APPG

Download the report 


Developing a Broad Assessment for Financial Literacy

This two day workshop in 2012 was to develop a framework and appropriate assessment tools for assessing financial literacy at secondary school level within an international context

Exploring conceptions of financial literacy in the European VET context

FLin€VET is a partnership project which aims to advance the development of a sustained and shared framework of Financial Literacy and its core components in the context of European Vocational Education and Training (VET). It will run from 2012-2014.