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Personal finance lessons to be compulsory in schools
Secondary school pupils will have to attend lessons in finance from September 2014.
Schoolchildren will soon find lessons on budgeting and money management added to the curriculum as financial education becomes compulsory under new rules.
The draft National Curriculum for England has been published and outlines plans for financial education to be embedded in mathematics and ‘citizenship’ lessons to ensure children grow up with an understanding of financial products, debt and how to manage their money wisely.
Changes to the curriculum follow pressure on ministers to include personal finance in education and a campaign by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People.
The ‘citizenship’ programme of study will be specifically targeted at those in key stage three, the first three years of secondary school, and those in key stage four, the final two years of secondary school, when pupils take GCSEs in England.
In the first three years of secondary school the programme will focus on the functions and uses of money, budgeting, money management and it will also look at a range of financial products and services.
Older children will study wages, taxes, credit, debt, financial risk and a range of more sophisticated financial products and services.
The new curriculum will also place a ‘renewed emphasis’ on mathematics, including financial mathematics.
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg), said: ‘This is a huge victory for the campaign for financial education in schools. Financial education is essential in equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to be able to manage their money well.
‘Financial education is an idea whose time has come. The campaign has been supported by teachers, parents, young people and more than 250 MPs and peers of all parties. Today’s news is a big leap forward for our ultimate goal of ensuring that financial education is taught in every school in the UK.’
A public consultation on the new curriculum will run until 16 April and schools will be given a version this September with changes to be made in lessons in September 2014.
Personal finance is already taught in schools in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
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