What Money Means for primary schools

What Money Means was designed to develop financial capability in primary aged children from Reception to Year 6 (age 4 to 11), by providing high-quality training and resources for teachers. This programme has benefited over 23,000 children over 5 years.

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The project
January 2007 to February 2012
Project brief: 
What Money Means had two aims: to increase the quantity and quality of personal finance education, and to increase the confidence and competence of those teaching it. What Money Means met those aims by helping local authorities to develop and deliver a range of different sustainable approaches to personal finance education, and train and support teachers in how to use them in the classroom.
The funding
Funded by: 
Funder brief: 
HSBC considers investment in education to be essential to the long term health of the nation. Half of its donations are for educational projects. HSBC Bank Plc has supported pfeg for many years and has gone on to fund an extention to the What Money Means project.

What Money Means, established in 2007, was a groundbreaking project. The objective was to help as many primary age children as possible to learn about money by working intensively with a large amount of teachers to provide high-quality training and resources. This has been achieved through:

  • working in partnership with 648 teachers and 34 local authority teams across England to integrate finance education into the curriculum, benefitting an estimated 23,000 pupils
  • supporting 695 trainee teachers in two large teacher training institutions – Edge Hill University in Lancashire and Shropshire and Roehampton University in London
  • developing around 50 lead teachers who can train other teachers in their own and neighbouring schools, and across local authority boundaries
  • helping children connect what they learn in the classroom with life outside school by training 1110 HSBC volunteers and facilitating effective partnerships with teachers
  • spreading good practice throughout the teaching community with a series of publications and resources requested by in excess of 4665 schools across the country.

What Money Means worked with teachers to explore how personal finance education integrates with subjects and themes across the curriculum – for example, lessons in some schools have included looking at coins through the ages (history) and different money systems across the world (geography).

What Money Means resources

What Money Means generated a wealth of materials for teachers that increased the quality of their personal finance education lessons. They are creative enough to inspire and flexible enough to fit into many areas of the curriculum These included planning tools, activities and stimulus materials. The resources have been extensively researched and thoroughly trialed to ensure they are useful and effective for teachers. 

Find out more about the most recent resource suite, 'Learning About Money', which can be ordered or downloaded.

What Money Means in Action - a film

What Money Means in Action captures real-life footage to demonstrate what teaching children about money is like in primary schools and to inspire and support teachers in developing their personal finance education lessons and activities. Watch the film and extra clips

What Money Means Evaluation

Read about the independent evaluation of the project, and download the reports.

Award winning

In October 2012 pfeg won a prestigious Charity Times award for its five-year What Money Means partnership with HSBC to deliver personal finance education in primary schools across England.  Find out more about the awards.