Financial education to take its rightful place in schools

28th February 2013

Basic budgeting, money management and other financial skills are to be taught in schools from next year, following a new draft National Curriculum, published earlier this month.

From September 2014, financial education will for the first time, form part of the Citizenship subject for 11 to 16 year olds. One of the aims of the Citizenship subject is to equip pupils with the financial skills to enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis and plan for future financial needs.  In addition, the new curriculum for Mathematics includes financial mathematics.

The draft curriculum states that pupils from age 11 to 14 will be taught the functions and uses of money, including personal budgeting, money management and a range of financial services and products. From age 14 to 16, they will also be taught about wages, taxes, credit, debt, financial risk and more sophisticated products and services.

All of this is excellent news as it will, if taught well, equip children with skills that many of us have had to learn ourselves and others simply don’t have. Everybody needs to use financial products and services in their everyday life, so it will come in handy for all pupils regardless of what they end up doing for a living.

It goes without saying that the subject needs to be well taught and effectively engage the children for it to work well, but just imagine a young person going to University or starting their first job, with the skills to budget, effectively choose between current accounts and credit cards and be savvy enough to put some money aside in a savings account. Not to get too carried away, but we could end up with a generation of savvy savers, to give a wake-up call to banks and building societies.

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