MPs: Finance must be taught

 
Elizabeth Fournier
PERSONAL finance must be taught in schools to equip young people with the knowledge they need to navigate an increasingly complex financial world, said a group of MPs yesterday, as they called for compulsory lessons to be part of the curriculum.

A report released by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on financial education for young people called for obligatory teaching to be part of both primary and secondary education, after finding that the UK was in danger of being “left behind” other countries where the agenda is further advanced.

According to the report, personal finance is only taught on an ad hoc basis in UK schools at the moment, with just 45 per cent of teachers saying they had ever run lessons on the subject.

The group wants this to change, with personal finance education introduced into the existing mathematics and PSHE (personal social health and economic) curriculum.

The proposals mean children could start learning the basics of personal finance as young as age five, with the aim that “young people should leave school able to calculate percentages, fractions and decimals, and be able to apply these methods to everyday life”.

The report is the culmination of eight months’ work by the APPG, which was put together in January and is now the largest in parliament, with 226 MPs and peer members across all main parties.

The issue will be also be debated in the Commons on Thursday, after a petition launched by moneysavingexpert.com’s Martin Lewis calling for compulsory financial education got more than 100,000 signatures.

FINANCIAL EDUCATION | KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

• Personal finance education should be a compulsory part of every school’s curriculum

• Quality resources and appropriate visits should be made available to teachers

• Primary teachers should build upon their teaching of basic money and mathematics skills from an early age across the curriculum

• Primary school teachers should be required to have a minimum grade B in GCSE mathematics

• Training days should be used to refresh the mathematics skills of primary school teachers

• Personal finance education should be taught cross-curricular in mathematics and PSHE (Personal Social Health & Economic) education at secondary level

• Personal finance elements of maths should be clearly highlighted to emphasise how they relate to real life decisions

• A school coordinator, or “champion”, should be appointed in each school with responsibility for sourcing resources and ensuring maths and PSHE education covers personal finance goals