The teaching of financial education is subject to “huge variations” across schools in Wales, even though the subject is supposed to be compulsory, a Freedom of Information request has found.

Bethan Jenkins, the Plaid Cymru AM who is promoting a Private Members’ Bill on Financial Education and Inclusion, received replies from over 80 high schools and comprehensives – more than a third of the total number in Wales – and found that the time devoted to the subject in both mathematics and PSE lessons varies from 180 hours to nothing. The threat of pupils being subjected to a “postcode lottery” was highlighted in one case where two schools not 10 miles apart had a variance of as much as 18 hours at one key stage.

The research suggested that schools across Powys and Ceredigion had the smallest variation in financial education provision.

The Financial Education and Inclusion Bill will seek to increase and improve the provision of financial education in Welsh schools while giving local authorities greater powers to combat predatory lending and promote financial capability. The consultation will run for six weeks, to April 28.

Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, said,

“This research found that there are many, many teachers who want to increase financial education provision within their schools. I was very pleased that Ceredigion was one of the best areas in Wales in terms of consistency of financial education in schools. But it seems there’s huge variation in the situation across Wales.”