Financial education in schools: policy into practice

Syed, Fatima Shaaria (2018). Financial education in schools: policy into practice. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This research explored the factors that shape personal finance education (PFE) curriculum policy outcome in schools. From 2014, all state-maintained secondary schools in England are required to deliver PFE through; Mathematics, Citizenship Education, and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHEe). This thesis is the product of a detailed analysis of school documents, lesson observations, and 51 interviews with key national stakeholders and teaching and management staff in schools. A multiple case study research was undertaken, using an analytic framework “sensitised” by theories of street-level bureaucracy (Lipsky, 1980; 2010) and educational transmission (Bernstein, 1971, 1975). This study concludes that contextual factors such as contradictory policy environment, subject status, and strong subject boundaries and allegiances affected PFE curriculum reform enactment and consequently its outcome in schools. Schools are operating under “constraint autonomy” where resources are directed towards subjects that count towards Ofsted grading and league tables. Inconsistency and variation in PFE delivery result from discretion exercised at school and classroom level. Teaching experience, pedagogical preference, and professional judgement determine the nature and degree of discretion. This study highlights the ‘power’ of exam boards and head teachers and argues for a collective approach to PFE curriculum planning and implementation to ensure a uniform and coherent PFE provision.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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