Lessons in finance to be added to national curriculum

Lessons in personal finance, including debt, tax and money management will be taught in schools as of 2014 the government has announced.

In a draft national curriculum, personal finance lessons are to be integrated into other subjects for the first time. This aims to bring English children in-line with those from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales who already have finance lessons within their curriculum.

The subject will be included in key stage three and four citizenship lessons, which involves students from 11 to 16 years old.

For the younger students this will include lessons on the function of money, budgeting and money management. As they progress however, this will move to focus on wages, taxes, credit, debt, financial risk and a rage of more sophisticated financial concepts.

The draft curriculum also seeks to place a ‘renewed emphasis’ on financial mathematics.

It will be up to schools to decide upon the level and depth to which they focus upon this element of the curriculum, but quality and compliance will be overseen by the regulating body for schools, Ofsted.

The proposals however are not finalised, and first draft will be given to schools in September 2013, with a final changes to be made by September 2014. A public consultation will run until 16 April, 2013.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of the Personal Finance Education Group responded to the announcement:

“This is a huge victory for the campaign for financial education in schools. Financial education is essential in equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to be able to manage their money well.

"With financial mathematics included as a part of maths and financial capability included in citizenship education for the first time, the campaign has achieved both of its objectives. We are delighted that ministers have listened on both fronts."

Founder of MoneySavingExpert, Martin Lewis, said:

"For over 20 years we've educated our youth into debt when they go to university, without educating them about debt.

"We desperately need to break the cycle of financial illiteracy in the UK – one of the causes of our current economic crisis and a huge contributor to continued mis-selling epidemics"