New research released by The Open University Business School’s (OUBS) dedicated research centre The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, reveals that despite 84% of parents admitting that maths is the most important school subject to help in everyday life, almost a third couldn’t help their children with maths homework beyond the age of nine. In fact, one in ten couldn’t master a seven year olds maths curriculum. Despite this, 19% of parents concede they wouldn’t be willing to study to improve their maths skills in order to help their children with their homework. When parents do help, more than half (52%) get their children’s maths homework wrong.
When it comes to everyday numeracy parents are struggling to pass on basic skills with one in five citing arithmophobia as the biggest issue they face. Adding and subtracting without a calculator is a skill one in four (24%) parents wouldn’t be able to pass on. This is also the case when it comes to teaching children how to split a bill with friends in a restaurant (40%) or simply working out best value items in the supermarket (45%). It’s no great surprise that basic household finance would also be a challenge to pass on as 52% couldn’t show children how to find the best value gas and electricity, best mortgage (62%) or interest charges on a loan (71%) or credit card (66%).
Whilst it seems shocking that parents cannot help children as young as nine with their maths homework, arithmophobia or a fear of numeracy will have debilitating side effects in so many other aspects of their everyday lives. For these parents, a basic understanding of numeracy is essential for all financial decisions. If this is overshadowed by fear, it’s safe to assume most of these parents will be taking a head in the sand approach to their finances and simply hope for the best. We’ve already attracted 125,000 learners to our foundation courses, we really hope to help more people face their fears and take control.Martin Upton, Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance at The Open University Business School
To combat this growing problem, OUBS has joined forces with University Challenge star and Arithmophobia Expert, Bobby Seagull, and MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis, to champion a freecourse designed for the financial education needs of young people from the age of 13. Managing My Money for Young Adults, which is funded by The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Company, is perfect for parents and teachers alike to brush up on everyday numeracy skills they can pass onto young adults. It provides 24 hours of learning broken into eight bite-sized sessions, to offer a strong foundation of personal finance knowledge.
The Managing My Money programme is designed for young adults. However, if parents work through the programme with their children, it is sure to benefit them as well. This in turn will give them more confidence with everyday numeracy that they can pass onto their children. In effect it’s a form of reverse mentoring where both parties learn together and a positive association with numbers and maths will be passed onto the next generation. A massive boost to Financial Literacy for all.Clive Parritt, Master of The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Company
In just 24 hours parents can learn about all the pitfalls their children can fall into, whilst educating themselves on:
Each session contains video content featuring University Challenge star Bobby Seagull. These videos cover topics such as; student loans, credit ratings, living in shared rentals and being a ‘switcher’ rather than a loyal customer.
As a maths teacher this is a challenge I face every day. We don’t expect every parent to step up to more advanced GCSE maths, but teaching everyday numeracy at home from an early age is essential. Whilst it is our job to educate pupils, the more support we can get from parents to make the next generation comfortable with numbers the better. Arithmophobia is a topic I have studied extensively and to see it being passed through generations is simply perpetuating poor financial decisions.Bobby Seagull, University Challenge star and Arithmophobia Expert
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 17:30 to 20:00
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
Online with Student Hub Live
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - 18:00 to 20:30
De Vere Holborn Bars, 138-142 Holborn, London, EC1N 2SW