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Call for finance to be part of main school curriculum

A new qualification in financial services is unlikely to improve financial literacy, says Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott.

The Government is introducing the new AS level as it attempts to boost the level of financial education in the UK.

But McDermott claims the exam will have little impact on financial knowledge unless it is backed up by a place on the national curriculum.

A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies found eight out of 10 people do not understand what is meant by an annual percentage rate while four in 10 do not know how mortgages or Isas work. McDermott believes it is imperative that tax-free savings vehicles and mortgages are properly understood by consumers.

He says: “It is nice to see that the Government has taken some action towards the ever worsening pension black hole. However, offering a non-compulsory AS level is unlikely to have that great an effect. Children leaving school at 16 and those who opt for mainstream courses will still not have any exposure to financial matters.

“I believe that the Government should go further and introduce financial studies into the main curriculum. Even one hour a week would be sufficient.”

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