Academy schools across England have been urged to place financial education on their curriculums, even though they are not legally obliged to do so.
The call has come from Yorkshire Building Society, amid concerns that pupils at such schools could find themselves less able to make wise financial decisions in future and end up in money trouble as a result.
It comes as the society launches Money Minds, a financial education programme designed to help everyone from the ages of five to 19 to learn more about how to handle money. Each age range is catered for by different activities, with those between five and seven being taught how to keep money safe, party planning and budgeting lessons given to eight to 11-year-olds, and guidance on how to calculate interest and meet the responsibility of paying loans for older children.
Such a move may be well supported by parents, who might have found to their cost how gaps in financial understanding can have serious consequences. For those who have got into financial trouble, a debt management plan could go a long way towards getting things back on an even keel.
Discussing the importance of educating youngsters about money, chief corporate affairs officer at Yorkshire Building Society Andy Caton said: “Pupils in academies that opt to not teach financial education are at danger of being left behind compared to those who are learning about managing money.
“At the moment we just don’t know how many children in academy schools will receive financial education, which is why we have taken the step to ask them all to pledge their commitment to it.”
It may be that many of England’s 5,000 academies have their own plans to teach financial education, which may involve bringing in experts from the world of finance to teach children how to manage money, but others may respond by adopting the Money Minds plan.
By Joe White