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‘Financial education should target young rather than adults’

A Government report is calling for finance to be embedded in school curriculum subjects but has ruled out the need for an urgent financial education programme for adults.

According to a review conducted by Ecotec Research and Consulting on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, the non-compulsory status of financial education means that take-up and effectiveness depends on the outlook of individual schools.

But the 20 stakeholder organisations that responded to the review were divided as to whether the subject should be made compulsory and accredited.

Some felt that accreditation – which would mean the subject would be monitored by Ofsted – could increase the profile of financial education while others were concerned that pupil take-up could be insignificant if it was not compulsory.

However, the report suggests there is no need for an urgent major financial education programme for adults and that the level of education should be mapped first.

It says the FSA’s financial capability survey will enable the population’s overall level of financial capability to be measured so that changes can be tracked over time.

But it warns that there are no quick-fix solutions to increase financial capability and argues for a continued emphasis on financial education in schools and development of non-compulsory education for adults.

Pensions minister Stephen Timms says: “The DWP, along with the FSA and other Government departments, is working to help people develop and improve the skills they will need to make appropriate financial choices throughout their lives.”

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