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Government adds financial education to school curriculum

by Michelle Abrego on Feb 07, 2013 at 14:09

Government adds financial education to school curriculum

The government has added financial education for students aged seven to 14 to the national curriculum for England.

The new draft curriculum  embeds financial education embedded in maths and citizenship courses

The citizenship curriculum will address the functions and uses of money. From ages seven to 11 students will be taught the importance of personal budgeting, money management and be introduced to a range of financial products and services.

In the next stage of citizenship studies, students aged 11 to 14 will be taught about wages, taxes, credit, debt, financial risk and a range of more sophisticated financial products and services.

In addition, the new curriculum places a ‘renewed emphasis’ on mathematics, including financial mathematics.

Justin Tomlinson MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on financial education for young people, said: ‘This is wonderful news and a huge victory for our campaign.  I am delighted that financial education has finally been given the place it deserves as a compulsory part of the national curriculum. 

‘Generations of young people will now gain the knowledge and skills they need to be able to manage their personal finances.  This will make a real and lasting difference to financial capability in our country.’

The Personal Finance Education Group (Pfeg) has welcomed the government's move as a ‘huge victory’ for the campaign.

Tracey Bleakley, Pfeg chief executive, said: ’Financial education is essential in equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to be able to manage their money well. 

‘With financial mathematics included as a part of maths and financial capability included in citizenship education for the first time, the campaign has achieved both of its objectives. We are delighted that ministers have listened on both fronts.’

31 comments so far. Why not have your say?

NJH

Feb 07, 2013 at 14:39

And who will 'teach' these aspects.......................hopefully a teacher with an economics degree, assisted for certain aspects by an independent chartered financial adviser. I hope no 'banker' will be allowed to set foot in the schools.

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Harriet Marlow

Feb 07, 2013 at 14:42

About time! All of my Maths A Levels were so hypothetical and theorectical in nature that I had trouble with certain concepts as they had no purpose or use attached to them. I still occasionally have a "lightbulb moment" when working of "Aha! That's what you use that equation for!"

Students get bored quickly when they think they are learning entirely pointless techniques. The moment you say "this is how you work out the exact charges on your credit card from the nominal rate of interest" it often clicks for them.

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Paul Barnard

Feb 07, 2013 at 14:46

Financial management taught by teachers? Hahahaha.

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Paraplannermatt

Feb 07, 2013 at 14:53

Massively positive step forward.

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Usually found sitting on the fence

Feb 07, 2013 at 15:14

@ Paul Barnard - why is it funny? Surely it is something to be encouraged and providing the actual contents are kept to basics and up to date, I would imagine most maths teachers will do a fine job. If it is a subject in it's own right and taught by whichever teacher happens to be available at the time, then there may be some more concern. Some aspects of taxation can be complicated, almost all aspects of taxation are dull, making it interesting and engaging and teaching it factually I can see being a challenge for anyone, especially if they don't do it all the time.

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Charles Rickards

Feb 07, 2013 at 15:17

About time too! If this is executed in an efficient manner, it is very good news for the financial well being of the nation. It will be very interesting to see the detail of what is being proposed and the timescale for it's introduction.

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Clive Rayner

Feb 07, 2013 at 15:23

@ NJH 'Bankers' in the form of Community Teams have been giving financial education to children in schools for some years now. As Chair of Governors of a special needs school I welcomed staff from Barclays who taught the Barclays Money Skills programme to some of our older children. It was welcomed by staff and children alike.

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Charles Rickards

Feb 07, 2013 at 15:37

I hope that schools will be provided with the resources to provide an excellent grounding for students. Hopefully this will include, where appropriate, carefully selected specialists who are capable of sharing the required information at a empathetic level.

This will benefit from those who go into it for what it can provide for the children, rather than their own agenda.

It would be interesting to know if the agenda has been set and who has or will be consulted as to the content.

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Chris Holmes

Feb 07, 2013 at 16:23

This is great news for everyone; I simply cannot understand how even the biggest cynics can find any negatives from this announcement.

Teachers are more than capable of teaching financial education: They don't need to be AJP Taylor to teach history, nor Maynard Keynes to teach economics (nor Francois Hollande to teach ..... anything - as he seems to know it all).

Clive Rayner points out how successful the Barclays Money Skills course has been. My children went through the course, which is really well structured, and have a far better grounding than I had when I came out of education. And, of course, the teachers will have the right resources - just go to the MAS website and it is all there (!)

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Barman

Feb 07, 2013 at 16:28

Great news, the first thing that I can commend this government on. Hope it gets through without delay.

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Keith Cobby

Feb 07, 2013 at 16:33

The first lesson should be probability theory and why 'it won't be you'.

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Richard Hardy

Feb 07, 2013 at 16:35

Will there be financial history taught in the curriculum to demonstrate from experience why Governments should never be trusted when it comes to your long term savings.

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l'ifa passeport en provenance de France

Feb 07, 2013 at 16:55

jobs for the failing ifa lot then

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Adam Grant

Feb 07, 2013 at 17:05

Blimey! Another shot in the arm for IFA's. Children have much better retention skills than the average IFA and could probably get to QCF Level 4 in one or two terms. Once they have the knowledge, there'll be even less reason to pay an IFA,...

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Stuart Hart

Feb 07, 2013 at 17:13

I agree with Chris Holmes. You must be pathalogically miserable when reading this news to find something to moan about. It's not rocket science is it? We can manage to explain things well to our clients and I've met plenty of my IFA counterparts and I wonder how they get themselves dressed of a morning so teachers, with the right help, can certainly make a difference to our 7-14 year olds and their attitudes to money.

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Richard Hardy

Feb 07, 2013 at 17:36

It would be worthwhile continuing the courses through to sixth form and university when the kids will require the hands on knowledge with their money.

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 11:57

Early results have not been encouraging http://www.fsa.gov.uk/library/communication/pr/2006/063.shtml

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Clive Rayner

Feb 08, 2013 at 12:08

@ Declan. I don't think using a 2006 FSA library page is very helpful, is it?

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 14:06

How's this one then? http://www.wesleyan.co.uk/mediacentre/pr/Teacherslackconfidencewithmoneybutaresmartsavers

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Clive Rayner

Feb 08, 2013 at 14:34

@ Declan. That one is much, much better and only goes to show how important it is to get people that know about money and finance (possibly from the banking industry?) involved in this sort of education gap.

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 15:48

It's vital.

Brilliant that this is finally going ahead but a lot of young people are going to miss out and there are still big concerns with teacher competency:

mybnk.org/victory-for-financial-education-and-whats-been-left-out/

Financial services definitely have a role to play: http://mybnk.org/financial-education-there-is-another-way/

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NJH

Feb 08, 2013 at 16:02

Having done some investigation, I think we will find that Banks may have been tendering already to deliver the training in schools. Therefore there will not be 100% reliance on teachers to do this single handed. I doubt very much that they will have the ability to push products as such, nor advertise which Bank they are from.

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Usually found sitting on the fence

Feb 08, 2013 at 16:20

@ NJH - maybe not explicitly, but they could turn up with some hand outs and free pens, I wonder what colour the following banks may use?

Barclays

Santander

Lloyds

However, I think HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Halifax, RBS (and yes I know some of these are from the same stable) may suffer with colour recognition.

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 16:20

Hi @NJH

What's your source on this? It was only announced yesterday in a draft, subject to consultation and Royal Assent - plus all Department tenders must be made public.

As for pushing products, if resources are branded, as has been the norm for years, they will be pushing a product - themselves!

We ask a lot of teachers and this is subject which sits across sectors involving not just knowladge and skills but also confidence and behaviour.

At the moment we have financial experts who are not teachers and teachers who are not financial experts. Hopefully this move will bring these three together, with young people, to design effective lessons.

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Paul Barnard

Feb 08, 2013 at 16:52

"a subject"

"knowledge"

"not just"

",,,"

Perhaps some basic English first? Or you designed have course for this too teachers with?

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NJH

Feb 08, 2013 at 16:59

Hi Declan

I work with someone whose husband works for a Bank. We were discussing this yesterday and she decided to ask him last night. Turns out I described it incorrectly (apologies) . It was not a tender at all - the bank has a 'department' that is relevent to all this - and they have offered their 'time' FREE to go into schools.

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 17:00

That's clever.

Care to contribute something relevant to this discussion?

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 17:09

Righto NJH.

Many banks and building societies have education/CSR units offering staff volunteers/remote resources/competitions. It's commendable and no doubt some young people benefit – but I go back to my earlier point about financial experts not being teachers.

At the moment what we have is a hodge podge of competing providers, some who are using corporate branding and no real impact measurements. A kite mark system by say, the Money Advice Service, could be a good quality controller – then, let the schools decide.

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Paul Barnard

Feb 08, 2013 at 17:21

Yep, happy to when you have.

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Declan Wilkes

Feb 08, 2013 at 18:13

*Sigh*

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Julian Stevens

Feb 09, 2013 at 10:13

Yes, a good (and long overdue) addition. But why only for children aged 7 to 14? What concept of money does a pre-teen child have beyond his/her weekly pocket money? It's from age 14 onwards that kids start taking up Saturday jobs, get paid a wage of their own and start to become interested in more expensive purchases such as electronics, clothes, bicycles and such like. That's when they really need to start focussing on matters such as saving and budgeting.

I just hope that the cost of this new initiative isn't dumped at the door of the IFA sector.

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