Moneywise challenges chancellor to take teen money test

Moneywise is challenging Alistair Darling and several other public figures to test their money skills as part of our Kids and Cash campaign to get personal finance into the classroom.

We’ve sent the chancellor, as well as ITV News at Ten anchor Trevor MacDonald and Big Brother presenter Davina McCall, a link to our Teen Money Test (part two) to see how well their cash acumen measures up against teenagers currently studying personal finance at school.

The teen money test uses exam questions from the ifs School of Finance’s GCSE equivalent Foundation Certificate in Personal Finance. The public figures challenged to take the test are:

• Chancellor Alistair Darling
• Children & schools secretary Ed Balls
• Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne
• Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable
• BBC Business Breakfast presenter Declan Curry
• ITV News at Ten anchor Trevor MacDonald
• Five News presenter Nathasha Kaplinsky
• Watchdog presenter Nicky Campbell
• London Talking host and former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq
• Big Brother presenter Davina McCall

Moneywise believes that teaching schoolchildren about money will equip them with essential life skills so they can not only avoid debt but also maximise the financial opportunities available to them.

We are currently petitioning the government to include personal finance as a standalone subject on the National Curriculum. Currently, some schools teach personal finance alongside maths and other subjects, and from September 2008 secondary school pupils will also have the opportunity to learn about money as part of their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.

However, these are not compulsory parts of the syllabus and students will not be monitored through exams to check their progress.

Moneywise and the ifs School of Finance believe the government needs to go one step further in ensuring all school children get the opportunity to learn about money from an early age.

Anne Kiem, Director of External Affairs at the ifs School of Finance, explains: “At present there is no statutory requirement for schools to provide any form of personal finance education. The ifs School of Finance believes that all secondary schools should be compelled to offer their students the option to study personal finance as a standalone qualification in exactly the same way that students have the choice to take a GCSE in geography, history, modern foreign languages and so on.”

Sign the Kids and Cash petition on the Prime Minister's website

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