Today: Jun 23, 2024

Museum magic: teaching finance? Museums may hold the key

1 min read

The Bank of England has decided to shelve plans to revamp its museum, raising concerns about the state of financial education in England and Wales. The UK is currently ranked 15th out of 29 countries for financial literacy by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The parliamentary inquiry into financial education in schools is under way. A number of museums, including the Museum of Making in Derby and the Imperial War Museum in London, have recently reopened or been revamped at a cost of over £100m each.

The Bank’s museum, which has an annual footfall of over 100,000 visitors, is located in its grade-I listed building and aims to educate the public about the history of money. However, the institution has refused to provide a reason for the decision to delay the refurbishment, which was expected to introduce interactive exhibits. An alternative museum in the UK is the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh, although this is owned and run by Lloyds Banking Group.

The Labour party has pledged to integrate more financial education into the maths curriculum, while the independent money and pensions service wants to increase the number of children who receive “meaningful financial education” from 4.8 million to 6.8 million by 2030. However, a Bank of England study in 2022 found that just under two-thirds of teachers felt that there was insufficient time or resources to teach the subject.

The UK’s largest and most advanced money museum is the Interactive Museum of Economics in Mexico City. Funded by both government and financial institutions, it operates independently and offers a range of exhibits, including a trading room and a digital money room. However, there are currently no plans to establish a similar museum in the UK.