Although a new functional maths GCSE is supposed to teach pupils about dealing with money, the ifs School of Finance has claimed it “will do no such thing”.
The organisation urged the government to create a standalone qualification in personal finance, rather than teaching it through the new maths subject.
Due to be introduced in September 2010, the subject is designed to help students understand financial matters, such as debt management .
Spokesman Rod McKee said the plans for functional maths were “clearly insufficient to make any noticeable impact”.
He added: “Financial capability is first and foremost about behaviour, not numeracy.”
The ifs would like personal finance to be put on an equal footing with other subjects such as history and geography.
A recent Daily Mail report claimed that elite schools of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference would shun “daily life” modular GCSE subjects in basic literacy and numeracy.