Headlines: March 12th, 2008

Schools and colleges are being urged today to give greater priority to teaching young people about managing their personal finances. A report from
Ofsted,- the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, also calls on the Government to give clear guidance to schools on how time can be found to include the subject at Key Stages 3 and 4.

Today’s report says head teachers, students, financial institutions and the Government all see teaching young people to manage their money as important. Despite good intensions,effective action by schools and colleges has been lacking and the result is that lessons vary in quality. The report, ‘Developing financially capable young people’ shows that better teaching can equip students with the mix of skills and attitudes they need to manage their finances sensibly and prepare them for the world of bank accounts, credit cards, insurance and mortgages.

It recommends that as well as giving guidance on time the Departments for Children, Schools and Families and for Innovation, Universities and Skills should support the training of teachers to improve personal finance education, including the sharing good practice and raising awareness of available resources. Schools and colleges, it says, should give priority to developing a coherent programme of personal finance education, ensure those teaching it are confident in their own knowledge and have systems to evaluate students’
progress. Finally it urges the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to identify the detailed learning outcomes expected at the ages of 14, 16 and 19 and to provide guidance on how to assess financial capability.

Miriam Rosen, Director of Education at Ofsted said “Providing personal finance education in schools can have a significant and lasting impact on pupils’ future prosperity and help them to successfully navigate the financial market – from mortgages and pensions, to whom to bank with – when they leave education.”