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Academies urged to offer financial education to pupils

Posted in: Community

Following a long-running campaign to improve financial knowledge amongst the country’s youngsters, financial education will be taught as part of maths and citizenship lessons from September, 2014.

However, academy schools are not obliged to follow the National Curriculum meaning over two million students could miss out.

Sixth-form students from St. Aidan’s, an academy based in Harrogate, recently benefitted from a financial capability course run by life insurance, health and savings provider, Engage Mutual. It helped them to hone their financial knowledge, and Ruth McQuire, head of business and economics at St. Aidan’s, believes the subject should be taught to all pupils in the UK.

Ruth said:

“The course has been invaluable to the students. Not only has it taught them practical financial information but a number of other skills which will serve them well in university and adult life.

“I’d like to see financial education being offered in all schools, colleges and academies such as ours across the country. We have an obligation to equip students with skills and knowledge for adult life and financial management is an essential part of this.”

The course was open to St. Aidan’s and St. John Fisher Associated Sixth-form, with students attending a ten-week course, where they covered a range of topics including budgeting, cashflow, debt, mortgages and loans, protection and investments.

Pupils then visited nearby Oatlands Primary School, where they took over an hour-long maths lesson to share their newfound money management knowledge with more than 30 nine to eleven year olds.

Sixth-form student, Simon Ryan, added:

“It’s been a really enjoyable and useful experience – I’ve improved my financial knowledge and learnt about budgeting and cash-flow – which will be really useful when I go to university.

“I’ve also learned new skills from teaching the primary school lesson, it’s boosted my confidence when speaking in public, as well as giving me something extra to put on my CV.”

Engage Mutual has been running the classes for ten years as part of its drive to increase financial education amongst young people.