interactive investor comments on the need for financial education at the beginning of Learning Disability Week.
“Teach kids how to pay taxes and mortgages and all that. Cause that's more useful than like Pythagoras' theory. I'm not gonna need that to pay my mortgage,” said a pupil with special needs in last year’s ONS report into special needs.
At the beginning of Learning Disability Week, interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest retail investment platform comments on the importance of financial education among children with learning disabilities, a group that are sadly at greater risk of financial scams, according to Young Enterprise.
Worryingly, an ONS report last year, on educational experiences of children with special needs, found that some mainstream schools struggled to have the flexibility to teach life skills to pupils with special needs. Some parents and teachers felt that mainstream schools often offer, “fewer options for practical subjects, life skills and vocational courses, which some pupils saw as more appealing and relevant to their future”.
In contrast, some parents and staff welcomed the greater flexibility in specials schools to “cater for different needs and preferences...Some staff in special schools also spoke about having more flexibility to focus on skills development, rather than having to follow the national curriculum”.
Alice Guy, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor says: “It’s no secret that people with disabilities are more likely on average to face financial hardship in adult life. Many disabled adults grapple with poverty and debt, and even if they work, disabled people earn less on average than their non-disabled peers.
“In additional disabled people with learning disabilities are often extremely financially vulnerable as adults. They may need help managing their money or be at additional risk of falling prey to a scam.
“Despite this, many young people with learning disability leave school ill-equipped for the financial complexities of adult life, especially a life where they may have to struggle to make ends meet on a low wage or with no wage at all.
“For me, as a mum to three teenagers, this isn’t just theoretical. I know from friends and family that many teenagers are hungry for money lessons and love learning about gambling, debt and talking about other money topics, and I know that it is very much in demand at some SEN schools. And money lessons can be as fun and engaging as they are vitally important. Social media is teaching our kids about crypto long before they learn about traditional investing, and apps are exposing them to potential problems with debt or gambling. If we don’t teach them, someone else will and the results won’t be pretty.”
“As a society, it’s vital that we give our children the tools they need to understand money and be financially secure as an adult.
“At the moment, our education system is rightly focused on maximising academics, hoping that getting good grades will help children secure a well-paid job and a better future. But, we’re in danger of missing the bigger picture and sending children out into the world with no financial map to guide them. They may know how to solve a quadratic equation, but not how to understand a payday loan or spot a financial scam.
“At the start of Learning Disability Week, I’m proud to join interactive investor in campaigning for more financial education for our children.
“interactive investor's Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards 2023 gives us all a chance to recognise the teachers and teaching assistants who are making a difference and teaching their pupils about money. I would encourage teachers, parents and pupils to spread the news as all applications are welcome.”
Facts and figures on the link between disability and poverty
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, around one-third of disabled people are living in poverty, a figure that has remained broadly constant at around a third since 2013-14.
Research by Sense in October 2022 shows that disabled people are three times more likely (13%) to be behind on bills or debts than those with no disability (4%) and almost seven in 10 (69%) people with complex disabilities had less than £1,500 in savings, compared to (53%) of people with another disability and 33% of those with no disability.
Disabled people are also more likely to not be working - the disability economic inactivity rate is 43.3% for disabled people compared to 14.8% for non-disabled people (figures from 2022 ONS data). In addition, the disability unemployment rate is 7.2% among disabled people compared to 3.2% for non-disabled people. Many disabled employees are also struggling on low wages. ONS data shows that the disability pay gap among employees was 13.8% in 2021.
These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.
Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.