Teacher Training Impact

Young Money worked with the University of Edinburgh Business school, with funding from the Money Advice Service, to explore the impact that training teachers in financial education has on the students they go on to teach. 

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The project
June 2017 to January 2018
Project brief: 
The project focused on post-16 students (Key Stage 5) and their teachers in England in 120 schools. The research design was a randomised control trial where a random sample of 60 teachers received financial education training, and a random sample of 60 teachers did not receive training. All teachers delivered financial education to their students over one term. The project measure the impact the teacher training had on the financial capabilities of the students the teachers went on to teach.
The funding
Funded by: 
Funder brief: 
This project is funded by the Money Advice Service's What Works Fund. The What Works Fund was created to evaluate different approaches to increasing the financial capability of the UK. The University of Edinburgh Business School evaluated the project and brings vast experience in evaluating approaches around financial education and financial capability.


The research project aimed to ascertain to what extent training teachers to plan and deliver financial education impacts on the financial capabilities of the young people they teach.

The project focused on Post-16 students and their teachers. This group of learners have not specifically been a key focus on financial education teaching previously, however they are in need of such education  as they transition from full time education to work, training or higher education. 

The research design was a randomised control trial involving 120 schools and over 2500 students. A random sample of 60 schools (Treatment group) and 6 Centres of Excellence schools received financial education training on five key themes:

1. Fraud and Identity Theft

2. Financial Planning & Budgeting

3. The Financial Implications of Work

4. Seeking Financia Advice

5. Choosing Financial Products

Teachers from a further random smaple of 60 schools (Control group) did not receive the teacher training. All teachers, regardless of whether they had received the training or not, received a 1 year subscription to Young Money's Financial Education Subscription Service, which houses over 50 financial education lessons plans. 

All teachers delivered financial education to their students over one term from October 2018 to January 2019. All teachers and students were asked to complete Pre and Post surveys, and 20 teacher interviews and 6 focus groups with students were conducted to provide further insigt into the quantative data from the surveys. 

Key findings

The full report with the full analysis and findings can be found here. Below is a summary of the key findings.

The key outcomes assessed by the research were:

1. Teachers develop confidence in teaching financial education and further develop their pedagogical practice, and

2. Students increase their financial capability.

Overall, the analysis confirms that training teachers to teach financial education does have a positive impact on teachers’ confidence and pedagogical practice:

  • Teachers that took part in the training were more confident in delivering financial education lessons and in evaluating the effectiveness of them, compared to teachers who had not been trained.
  • The training had a positive impact on teachers’ pedagogical practice, in particular, leading to increased use of technology in financial education lessons and consideration of students’ religious and cultural characteristics, ensuring a greater likelihood that financial education lessons are tailored to the needs and characteristics of students.
  • The teacher’s length of service influences the degree of impact of teacher training. The greatest impact is seen in teachers with less than 10 years’ experience (compared to those with more than 10 years’ experience). This is particularly evident for confidence in delivering financial education and in the use of technology. This suggests that for training to have the optimum impact, it is best provided to teachers in the early to mid-career stages.

The training had less impact overall on the Centres of Excellence schools:

  • The training has had relatively less impact on the confidence and teaching practice of COE teachers, largely due to those teachers having more experience of financial education at the start of the project through their involvement in the Centres of Excellence programme. The starting point on some aspects was as high as the end point achieved by those after training.

The analysis also confirms that training teachers to teach financial education has a positive impact on the financial capability outcomes of the students they teach.

  • Students that have been taught by teachers trained in financial education are significantly more confident in managing money. The effect of the training has had the impact of increasing post-16 students’ confidence managing money to a level comparable with the 18-24 year old young adult demographic (based on the UK Financial Capability Survey 2015). Increasing the level of financial capability of school leavers in this way ensures they are better equipped to deal with the key transitions and financial implications they are about to encounter as young adults.
  • The effect of the training can be seen in all five themes, particularly strong in the themes of fraud and identity theft, seeking financial advice and choosing financial products.

The training also has a positive impact on students’ financially capable behaviours:

  • Students that were taught by teachers that took part in the financial education training were much more likely to have made changes to the personal information they share online, engaged in saving, and sought advice on student loans.

Overall, the project provides evidence that teacher confidence and pedagogical practice and the financial capability of the students they teach increase relative to the degree of support provided to teachers:

  • The greater the support and training provided to teachers, the greater the improvement in teacher confidence in financial education and pedagogical practice. Also, the greater the support and training provided to teachers, the greater the improvement in students’ financial capability outcomes.
  • The Control, Treatment and COE groups represent a tiered approach to supporting and developing financial education from (1) access to resources alone (Control group), resources and training (Treatment group), and being part of an ongoing programme of support through the Centres of Excellence (COE group).

For the full report, please click here.