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28 March, 2006

FSA calls to improve financial literacy

Economic literacy has been on the Citizenship curriculum since 2002. Today’s report produced by the Financial Services Authority and Bristol University highlights the importance of good citizenship education in schools and the need to improve it in schools where it is lacking. Moreover it highlights the need for good quality resources and interesting methods of learning for pupils.

Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary has called for personal finance education “to be more explicit in the national curriculum” and has promised support for teachers “to bring this to life in the classroom”.

The Citizenship Foundation, who has produced user-friendly guides to personal finance and has developed an interactive online resource to encourage a better understanding of personal finance and its wider social impact: www.mny-mny-mny.com, supports this call for better understanding among young people.

The moneymoneymoney website provides a basic guide to personal finance and can be used as a classroom guide or accessed directly by young people and has been described as "very exciting and absorbing" by InteracTive magazine.

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation said: “If young people are to take an active role in society, it is vital that they have an understanding of their personal finances. However this is just the first step towards real financial citizenship where young people are also aware of the wider social implications of how they spend their money, how and where it is invested and how their taxes are used.”

He added, “Citizenship education is the ideal vehicle for young people to develop the necessary skills and understanding for financial literacy, but it is important that this carries over to outside the classroom. Interactive learning coupled with good resources which are interesting and relevant, all play an important role in bringing what is often perceived to be a dry subject, to life.”

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