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Monday, 9 July 2007

Children to receive financial education


Ed Balls, the new Schools Secretary, is ordering schools to teach personal finance as a subject alongside career progression and enterprise.

"It is essential that we equip our children with the financial skills they will need as adults and get young people thinking about careers and how to fulfil their ambitions,' Mr Balls said yesterday.

I'd be interested to hear who has drawn up the syllabus?


Anonymous said...

Hopefully, someone who can spell the word 'syllabus'.

More to the point, surely the appreciation of personal finance as an obligatory part of the curriculum is secondary in importance to the financed provision of a regulated framework for supporting the adults who will be charged with its delivery?

The FSA’s benchmark study in 2006, ‘Personal Finance Education in Schools’, confirmed that the majority of [1,000] schools canvassed already deliver elements of personal finance education in some form. But only 9% of the primary schools, and 26% of the secondary schools engaged in the study had received any training from the then DfES; 68% of secondary schools wanted more support and the majority of schools reported being unaware of best practice in the subject’s delivery.

While the staff charged with this task remain, in any way, part of the audience targeted by intermediaries everywhere, progress cannot be made. It follows that for best results children require tutoring by informed, authoritative teachers able to engage and explain a subject beyond the prepared content of a course book.

Or perhaps teachers in the UK will be absorbing the intricacies of personal finance by osmosis over the coming years, to a point where they can tutor on a subject they know – relatively – little about?

The winners here will not be the students. Instead, the institutions, sitting quietly in the shadow of the government’s objectives, should be prepared to fund and collaborate on a whole-of-market network of personnel – and reap the obvious, associated benefits.

Imagine a team, geographically drawn from local tied-advisers, trained to deliver non-product specific lessons on a 6-week rosta

Imagine funding a recognised qualification, the extra-curricular coaching for which could take place in a neutral on-line zone

Imagine the opportunity to deliver a ‘parent, student’ talk, once a month, in a sports hall… and the opportunities arising from that…

Teach the Students? That’s an admirable idea. But don’t do it without engaging the parents, and providing enough support to the teachers, in the process.

Teamspirit said...

Thanks for your comments - I think the 'support the teachers' point is very well made and I like the 'local tied advisers' team concept.

Typo resolved, ahem.