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Money management to be included in curriculum

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Secondary pupils in the UK will soon start learning money management in both maths and citizenship lessons as statutory elements of the curriculum.

A new draft curriculum has been written which would make “financial capability” a statutory requirement of the curriculum from 2014. These changes will “prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens by providing them with the skills and knowledge to manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.”

The new lessons will be tiered between the various key stages of the curriculum, and would be laid out as follows:

  • Key stage 3 (11-14 yrs) – pupils studying at this level would be taught about the functions of money, the importance of budgets, how to manage money and they would also be given information about a number of products and services
  • Key stage 4 (14-16 yrs) – at this stage, pupils would be introduced to the concepts of wages, taxes, credit & debt and would also be introduced to a wider, more sophisticated range of financial products and services
  • Key stage 3 Maths – pupils in this group would learn how to solve and devise problems in financial maths and gain an understanding of simple interest

The move has been welcomed by the finance education charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), who campaign education on financial matters for young people. Chief Executive of pfeg, Tracy Bleakley, has stated that “financial education is essential in equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to be able to manage their money well.”

It maybe argued that adding financial literacy to the curriculum is long overdue and that adding these subjects into lessons will go someway to preventing a generation who can sit in a maths lesson learning algebra and calculus, but not skills which will prevent them from sinking into debt after they leave school. How many times since leaving school have the vast majority of us ever needed to put into practical action much of what we learned in the maths class? Personally, I’ve never ever again had to use the sine or cosine buttons on my calculator.

The media is full of reports on the depth of financial hardship we are all facing, not just in the UK, but worldwide, and the current state of affairs in certainly not something that we should be passing on to future generations. Perhaps the fact that the UK government has finally recognised the need to equip young people with the tools to ensure that they have a relatively secure financial future.

 



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