Release: Compulsory financial skills in schools

Labour will make it compulsory for all schools to teach financial literacy from 2025, to address low levels of money and budgeting skills among school leavers, Labour Leader Chris Hipkins and Education Spokesperson Jan Tinetti announced today.

“Young people will leave school knowing how to budget, open a bank account, manage bills and save and invest their money as part of a financial skills in schools programme,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We want all young New Zealanders to leave school knowing how to manage their finances. It’s too important to be left to chance.

“Evidence tells us the current approach means too many students leave school without the financial skills they need. Over the past six years, Labour has been growing financial teaching capability through making it a core part of the School Leavers Toolkit and encouraging partnerships with banks to provide education and advice in schools – but more needs to be done.

“Teaching of financial literacy will start in primary school and be taught mainly through maths and social sciences in secondary school.

“All young people will leave school with a core knowledge of saving, budgeting, banking, borrowing, bills, taxes, Kiwisaver, mortgages and insurance.

“We’re setting kids up with core skills that’ll teach them how to save for a home or their retirement; or become the innovators and entrepreneurs of the future.”

Labour delivered New Zealand history in schools by ensuring there is a clear framework in place, within the curriculum, so that it would be taught as part of an existing subject. Financial skills in schools will be delivered the same way, mainly through maths and social sciences as this is where existing resources are aligned.

“Schools will still have flexibility as to how they deliver the programme, but there will be essential learning outcomes at different year levels,” Jan Tinetti said.

“An important part of our plan will be making sure teachers feel they have the necessary skills and resources to teach it, and that they need to prioritise it within their classrooms.

“This won’t be an extra demand on teachers, rather it will make sure they have what they need, including access to existing programmes and partnerships and support through the newly established curriculum centre at the Ministry of Education.

“I’m incredibly excited by this policy that will teach kids practical, financial skills that they will use for life,” Jan Tinetti said.

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