CHILDREN will soon be taught about the world of money at school following the success of a campaign by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson.
From September 2014, financial education will be included in mathematics and citizenship, making the topic compulsory for the first time following a huge drive by Mr Tomlinson and several other MPs.
In primary school maths lessons, money will be used as a unit of measurement, in problem-solving and when students are introduced to statistics in Key Stage 2 financial concepts. English classes will teach financial vocabulary in spelling, with pupils learning the meaning of words such as money, finance, commercial and coin.
“At a time when everyone is focused on personal finance, generations of young people will now gain the knowledge and skills they need to be able to manage their own finances,” said Mr Tomlinson.
“This will make a real and lasting difference to financial capability in our country overall.
“By the time young people reach secondary school, they have already been exposed to hundreds of scenarios where a basic level of financial education would assist them in making savvy decisions.”
Headteacher at Isambard Community School Rachel Mattey said she thought learning about the economy was absolutely vital.
“Some people learn these things from their parents but not everybody does,” said Mrs Mattey.
“Understanding how banks work and the economy is absolutely vital. I know a lot of schools already include this subject in their curriculum, we do. But having that knowledge is very important.”
Finance will be taught in mathematics through problem solving, ratio, proportion and rates of change. In addition, understanding of probability, notions of risk and uncertainty, will be taught through the use of financial examples.
Citizenship classes for 11 to 16 year olds will teach the functions and uses of money, the importance and practice of budgeting, credit and debit, insurance, savings and pensions and how public money is raised and spent.
And maths lessons will have a renewed emphasis on financial mathematics in measures and problem-solving from primary school age onwards.
“Hundreds of subjects applied to be added to the new National Curriculum, and I am delighted that the Department for Education has seen the value of financial education for young people.” said MP Tomlinson.
“Every student in England will be taught how personal finance works; from calculating interest or VAT, to understanding and managing financial risk. It is vital that schools equip students with life skills and there is no skill more important than understanding how money works, and the impact it has on day-to-day life.”