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Words that Count: Financial literacy for for 15-19 year olds

Words that Count 16 plus

We're empowering young people to improve their financial wellbeing whilst developing literacy skills.

What is Words that Count?

Words that Count is a free financial literacy programme run by National Literacy Trust and created in partnership with Experian and Foundation 92. Now in its fourth year, the campaign aims work in collaboration with football foundations and community sports organisations to empower young people aged 15 to 19 to feel more confident and informed about making their own financial decisions.

The programme includes six in-person workshops delivered by community role models, covering topics such as money management, understanding credit cards, and methods of bill payment. Additionally, a complementary digital campaign supports the initiative. This campaign features well-known influencers in the field of financial well-being sharing their tips and advice on TikTok and Instagram.

Why Words that Count?

Literacy skills play a crucial role in enabling young people to bolster their financial resilience. Integrating financial education into literacy lessons throughout a young person’s education proves to be highly effective. In 2019, we published a report exploring the association between literacy and financial capability.

We found that:

  • Children and young people who have good reading skills are four times as likely to have good financial skills than their peers who have poor reading skills (35.6% vs 8.8%)
  • Children and young people who have poor reading skills are four times as likely to also have poor financial skills (56.3% vs 12.3%)

What are the aims?

The pilot phase of the programme in Manchester led by Foundation 92 found that it helped the young people taking part to:

  • Demonstrate good understanding and knowledge of money management

  • Demonstrate good understanding of budgeting

  • Demonstrate an ability to forecast

Does it work?

Students on the programme improve their understanding and confidence of financial literacy. Our evaluation over the 2023/2024 academic year has shown that:

  • Almost all students agreed that they knew why it was important to save money following the programme (93.0%).
  • After taking part in the programme, 4 in 5 (79.0%) reported that they felt more confident in how to spend and save their money.
  • 9 in 10 (92.8%) teachers agreed that the programme helped their students to understand the importance of financial literacy.

The programme also positively impacted on teachers’ knowledge and confidence to support their students’ financial literacy:

  • Only 3 in 10 (30.0%) teachers reported feeling confident to teach financial literacy before the training, more than 4 in 5 (81.8%) felt confident to do so after the training.
  • After the training, almost all teachers (97.1%) agreed that they felt more confident in their ability to develop strategies to teach financial literacy.
  • More than 9 in 10 teachers felt the training improved their understanding of the importance of financial literacy (91.2%) and the challenges associated with teaching the subject (92.6%).

Who is it for?

We are looking to work with sports community organisations and selected FE settings in England who have access to disadvantaged young people, aged 15-19.

What will I get to support delivery?

Each setting will receive:

  • Programme training
  • All necessary resources:
    • Student workbooks
    • Lesson PowerPoints with lesson notes
    • Lesson plans
    • Glossaries
    • Activity cards
  • Limited financial support is available for eligible organisations (such as community-based sports organisations. This does not include FE settings or those that already receive statutory funding).

How do I access it?

The programme will be available from January until the end of May 2024. You can register your interest in delivering Words the Count by completing the form below.

If you have any enquiries relating to this programme please email

Sign up here: