Government pledges £11 million for money lessons for kids

7 July 2008

Children as young as four are to be given more financial education at schools, in a new initiative unveiled by the government.

A new £11.5 million three-year programme called My Money has been launched to support financial capability and raise awareness among children aged between four and 19 about how to manage their money.

Lessons will include budgeting, understanding different financial products and coping with debt.

The government has also announced measures to help adults better manage their finances. The Financial Capability Action Plan includes a £12 million programme to offer free advice about money to hundreds of thousands of households in the North West and North East.

The programme is part of the recommendations made by the Thoresen Review into generic financial advice. It will be launched early next year, providing personalised support to people looking to make their money go further.

The government says it wants to create an environment where people get an education in personal finance at the start of their lives right through to the end. Unveiling the new initiatives, Kitty Ussher MP, economic secretary to the Treasury, said learning to manage money is an essential skill for everyone.

“This government is committed to ensuring that at every age people have the education, support and skills they need to make the right money choices, plan for their future and provide financial security for their families,” she added.

Moneywise continues to petition the government to do more to improve financial education by introducing personal finance onto the National Curriculum. From this September, 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.

To support our Kids and Cash campaign to get personal finance into the classroom for all school children, please sign our petition on the Prime Minister's website. You can also read more about our campaign on the Kids and Cash pages.

Helping hand

Other measures unveiled today as part of the Financial Capability Action plan include offering more help to households at risk of repossession.

Through the Ministry and Justice, these people will have access to free legal advice and representation at County Courts throughout England.

It is also working with mortgage lenders to offer support for borrowers through reduced repayments, or even mortgage breaks.

Michael Coogan, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, says banks - as well as the government - are taking steps to make sure people who are worried about their finances get access to good advice.

He adds: "If you are worried about your mortgage, talk to your lender. Alternatively, talk to an advice agency or one of the consumer helplines designed to offer practical assistance.

“Most cases of difficulty can be resolved - and the earlier you take that difficult first step to make contact, the easier it is to prevent your financial difficulties from becoming worse."

Test yourself against school children with Moneywise's teen money exam.

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