Kids and Cash petition gets a response

4 August 2008

Thank you to everyone who signed our Kids and Cash petition to the Prime Minister's website calling for personal finance to be included on the national curriculum. 

The petition has now closed, but not before 2,337 people added their names to our campaign. 

Moneywise believes that far too many young adults today leave school unable to make sound financial decisions. With the cost of living increasing by the day and record numbers of people spiralling into debt, the Kids and Cash campaign believes schools have a crucial role to play in teaching children the financial facts of life.

If personal finance education were to be taught alongside key subjects such as English, science and maths, more young adults would be armed with the skills to manage their money better - from the importance of budgeting and not getting into debt, to how to manage their income and make it go further by saving or investing.

And it’s not just Moneywise that supports this idea. Recent research by the Association of Investment Companies found that over 90% of parents and teachers think that children should be taught about personal finance at school.

But despite the government unveiling an £11.5 million three-year programme called ‘My Money’ to help give children a better understanding of money, the initiative is not compulsory.

“The ‘My Money’ programme will make very little difference to the financial capability of our children,” says Phil Hall, spokesperson for the ifs School of Finance. “Much more needs to be done to make sure the next generation are financially literate – even the Financial Services Authority’s own research shows this.”

The government's response:

"The government agrees that all children and young people should have access to a planned and coherent programme of personal finance education, so that they leave school with the skills and confidence to manage their money effectively. 

"Personal finance education is covered in the primary curriculum as part of the non-statutory framework for PSHE and citizenship. The new ‘economic wellbeing and financial capability’ programme of study has been taught in secondary schools since September 2008 as part of the revised secondary non-statutory curriculum for PSHE education. 

"In addition, there are opportunities within a number of subjects across the curriculum to learn about financial matters including citizenship, mathematics, business studies and enterprise education.

The place of economic wellbeing and financial capability in the curriculum has been further strengthened by the Government’s intention to make PSHE education statutory, which was announced in October 2008. 

"This decision recognises the key role PSHE education plays in equipping children and young people with the knowledge and skills they need to lead healthy and successful lives. 

"At the same time the government launched an independent review of how this might be achieved in the most effective and practicable way.  Sir Alasdair Macdonald, the head teacher of Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, is conducting the review and will report in April 2009. 

"This review will also take account of the recommendations of Sir Jim Rose’s review of the primary curriculum, which will also report in April 2009.  Proposals for the statutory implementation of PSHE education will be the subject of a full public consultation."

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