EDUCATION MATTERS: Fresh Call for Pupils to Learn Personal Finance

The Birmingham Post (England), May 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

EDUCATION MATTERS: Fresh Call for Pupils to Learn Personal Finance


Byline: By Shahid Naqvi Education Correspondent

The Government faces renewed pressure to make personal finance compulsory in the curriculum.

Britain's awarding body for finance qualifications said the skill was as important as "numeracy, literacy and IT" because of the ever-increasing debt faced by young people.

The Institute of Financial Services is the latest to call upon Ministers to ensure youngsters leave school able to manage their money.

In February, insolvency experts R3 Midlands called for personal finance in schools after highlighting a 57.1 per cent rise in individual debt in the last quarter of 2005.

March saw City watchdog the Financial Services Authority warn that young people urgently needed help increasing their financial skills to avoid future problems.

The same month saw a survey reveal parents would rather see their children taught about personal finance than traditional subjects such as history and geography.

Gavin Shreeve, chief executive of the IFS, said changes in society meant teaching money management now needed to be mandatory rather than voluntary.

"We believe it is imperative for financial education to be taught in schools as a standalone qualification.

"It is as much a key and essential life skill as numeracy, literacy and IT ability. Given that there is less provision from the State for people's pensions and there is an ever-increasing burden of debt for young people going through education, it should be in the national curriculum."

Ministers have repeatedly refused to force schools to teach personal finance. Some teachers touch on the subject in Personal, Social and Health Education, Citizenship and the new Enterprise Education subject. …

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