Santander and Twinkl launch new financial education framework as research shows that only 1% of teachers think their students have adequate financial skills

  • New research1 from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) reveals only 1% of primary school teachers think their students have adequate financial skills.
  • According to the SMF’s report, sponsored by SantanderUK, primary school teachers2 say they lack the time required to embed financial education into the school curriculum.
  • Santander and Twinkl Educational Publishing have today launched a new tool3 to help empower and equip teachers with an adaptive go-to framework for teaching financial education at a primary school level.

In a new report1 published today, ‘Investing in the Future’, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) reveal that only 1% of primary school teachers feel that their students’ level of financial literacy is adequate.  

As outlined in the report, sponsored by Santander UK, children are exposed to money much earlier in today’s digital world, with attitudes towards money developing as early as the age of seven.  Yet, as it stands, financial education is only compulsory at secondary school level in England. The SMF and Santander are calling for financial education to be introduced at an earlier age, to become statutory in primary schools, and for provision to be high-quality and universal.

According to the research2, the biggest barriers teachers face when integrating financial education into the school curriculum are lack of time (81%), resources (43%), and lack of expertise (37%). The assumption that financial education must take place within Maths lessons presents another obstacle, with 66% of teachers saying it should instead be integrated into personal, social and health education (PSHE), and 41% saying it should be across multiple subjects.

 Santander UK and Twinkl have been working together since 2020 to tackle some of these barriers, offering free, easy-to-access, curriculum-friendly learning materials through their highly successful The Numbers Game4 , fronted by UK TV personalities Ant & Dec Over 2.5 million 5 to 16 year olds, 100,000 educators and 8,300 schools have used these financial education resources since 2022.

Today, with Santander’s support, Twinkl has launched a new tool3 to help guide primary school teachers looking to embed financial education into the school curriculum. The “Financial Education Overview of Objectives” outlines topics to be covered at key stages, bringing togetherstructured and ready-to-use plans, resources, and activities for educators as part of The Numbers Game. Topics range from understanding  ways of spending money and what informs the decisions people make, to identifying online threats and how to navigate these risks.

Mike Regnier, Santander UK CEO, added: “We are proud to be launching this report today in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, providing new insight into and recommendations on the importance and practical delivery of financial education. There is strong evidence of the need for better financial education – we know that over two thirds of people believe better financial education would have helped them manage their money with the increases in the cost of living. It’s clear that while progress has been made in the UK, there is still more to be done.

“As outlined in the SMF’s report, teachers need access to quality training and resources in order to become confident and skilled in the teaching of financial education in the classroom. That’s why we’ve worked with Twinkl to create an easy-to-use, helpful tool designed to inspire, empower, and equip teachers with a go-to framework for teaching financial education.”

Dani Payne, Senior Researcher at Social Market Foundation, said: “Having a financially literate population is an important part of a healthy and prosperous country. Financial literacy has documented links to better physical and mental health, supports accumulation of wealth, and may also reduce the likelihood of people falling victim to fraud and being in debt. Unfortunately, the UK currently has low levels of financial literacy compared to other developed countries, and levels of financial understanding tend to track existing socioeconomic inequalities.

“A universal financial education is critical to ensure that people are equipped to make healthy financial decisions and to support social mobility. So far, disparate approaches across education levels and between nations has limited progress in this area. The inclusion in the English primary curriculum, alongside greater support for teachers and funding for schools at both primary and secondary level, will be an important step forwards in preparing our children for success in adulthood.”

Jonathan Seaton, CEO at Twinkl Educational Publishing, commented: “Teachers often talk to me about the need for more financial education provision and support within the classroom. I see this report as a pivotal moment in emphasising the need to empower educators to equip the next generation with these essential life skills. Through Twinkl’s partnership with Santander on The Numbers Game it has enabled us to explore several innovative avenues to provide these skills.

“Through conversations with the Twinkl community, we identified that teachers need a better breakdown of what should be included within the classroom when teaching on financial education. I’m excited to see how the introduction of this new Financial Education Framework will help to give teachers a greater understanding of how to integrate financial education into their classrooms.”


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Notes to Editors

1. The SMF report, ‘Investing in the future’, can be accessed here: Investing in the future: The case for universal financial education in the UK - Social Market Foundation. ( The report is sponsored by Santander UK. The SMF retains full editorial independence.

2. The survey, run by Teacher Tapp, polled a nationally representative sample of teachers and school leaders.

3. TheFinancial Education Overview of Objectives’ can be accessed here: Transforming the Future of Financial Education with Santander (

4. Find out more about The Numbers Game by Santander at


Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2023, the bank had around 19,800 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 444 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. At the end of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 165 million customers, 8,500 branches and over 212,000 employees.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) is a non-partisan think tank. We believe that fair markets, complemented by open public services, increase prosperity and help people to live well. We conduct research and run events looking at a wide range of economic and social policy areas, focusing on economic prosperity, public services and consumer markets. The SMF is resolutely independent, and the range of backgrounds and opinions among our staff, trustees and advisory board reflects this.

Twinkl Educational Publishing was founded by husband and wife Jonathan and Susie Seaton in 2010 in Sheffield, with a mission ‘to help those who teach’. The company provides high-quality, online learning materials and services, which are all teacher-created and checked. Twinkl offers over a million resources, with new content added daily. This ranges from schemes of work and assessments to augmented reality games and much more. Twinkl is used and trusted by schools and educators in over 200 countries and regions, including primary and secondary school teachers, nursery workers and parents.