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Economics: Secondary Education

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 30 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will take steps to encourage more teaching of financial matters in secondary schools. (270922)

It is crucial that all young people leave school with the skills and confidence to manage their money well. The revised curriculum for secondary schools introduced in September 2008, includes a new dedicated programme of study for “Economic Well Being and Financial Capability” as part of a revised Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. We have also said that, subject to consultation, we will make PSHE, which is currently non-statutory, part of the statutory national curriculum. Elements of financial capability are also delivered through other curriculum subjects. For example, Citizenship education, which is statutory at Key Stage 3 and 4, requires that 14 to 16-year-olds be taught how the economy functions, including the role of business and financial services. We are also introducing functional mathematics to the maths GCSE, which means that from 2010, all pupils who achieve a grade C or above will have mastered the basics.

We are spending £11.5 million over three years to support delivery of financial education in schools. This money has been used to update and publish the curriculum guidance for financial capability in November 2008. It is funding the My Money programme, which delivers high quality training and support for local authorities and teachers so that they have the skills and confidence to teach effectively about personal finance. It also funds provision for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in financial capability for teachers.