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Pfeg wants MAS to fund financial education in schools

Personal Finance Education Group chief executive Tracey Bleakley wants the Money Advice Service to outsource a £50m five-year programme to embed financial education in the national curriculum.

In February, the FSA doubled the MAS’s annual budget to £86.8m in 2012/13, with £46.3m to be used to deliver “money advice” and £40.5m for debt advice.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Bleakley says Pfeg wants the MAS to consider issuing a tender worth £5m-£10m a year so a body such as Pfeg can bring financial education into the national curriculum over five years.

She says: “The MAS’s remit starts at 16 but we believe financial education needs to start in schools at four.

“The MAS has a very big budget and we believe some should be used to fund introducing financial education into schools.”

Pfeg, a charity, had its central Government funding removed in 2010 and had to make 75 per cent of its staff redundant.

An MAS spokeswoman says: “We are concluding our research into provision of financial education and will be making proposals based on these findings over the summer.”


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Kevin Grimwood 24th May 2012 at 10:01 am

    As a father of children who are now leaving school or left in the last 10 years I think this is a great idea as it seems the students leave with no financial awareness (I do talk to my own of course).

    Trouble is will this be another thing for IFA’s to pay for as is MAS, shouldn’t this be part of the standard education package paid by schools.

    I have been considering offering a free lecture to schools myself, what do other IFA’s think of this does anybody else do this?

  2. Another barnacle on the backside of the industry!

    Please, please help us as we have no way of knowing how to generate a proper income, oh and we are a charity!

    Do one lady!

  3. To Steve at 10.15am – so you’ll be quite happy for kids to be leaving school with no knowledge of financial matters?

    Actually, I suppose you would. It might make it easier for you to flog them something inappropriate. Your rather unprofessional tone in an open forum suggests this to be the case.

  4. Martin Bamford 24th May 2012 at 10:55 am

    Whilst I absolutely support better financial education in schools, this needs to be taxpayer (not IFA) funded.

  5. I agree with Kevin in that my children would have no financial sense if it was not for my wife and I as IFA’s. Financial edication should be the cornerstone of a modern society and I would gladly get involved with the local schools/colleges to help.

    However the natural creep of regulation causes me some concern as it could easily be twisted into the FS industry funding schools via an overbloated qwango. Afterall if we go back over the last decade and look at the regulators and compensation schemes and see how that evolved – and not always for the better.

  6. Richard, talking of professionalism, you appear to have jumped to a bit of an assumption about me there and levelled something of a derogatory remark in the process! Never judge on appearances, or on what you ASSume the case to be! If I wish to fire off, then don’t feel that it is your right to form some kind of character judgement about me.

    I have no problem with financial education and don’t recollect criticising that subject per se.

    Our sector exists on a commercial footing and whilst pre-16 year olds should grow up with financial knowledge, no doubt, it is not for us to fund this gap, or for the powers that be to determine how our revenue should be spent, especially via the MAS.

    If financial education is to be a part of the national curriculum then it is for Government to find the funds centrally. Dell don’t fund the IT curriculum in schools, and if they were made to, you know whose name would need to be on very PC.

  7. Financial Education is all well and good, but according to statistics, the majority leaving school do not have a grasp of Maths. So if they cannot add up, what is the chance of them understanding financial education. I suppose someone will say they will have calculators but if they cannot add a couple of figures together without a calculator, its not going to help them

  8. Christopher Bearfoot 24th May 2012 at 12:12 pm

    As a financial volunteer with Pfeg, let me say that it has previously carried out excellent work in bringing together people from across the financial services sector to deliver high quality assistance in schools. It has also produced / vetted materials for use in the classroom where the schools want resources for themselves. It is a trusted “brand” that has been endorsed by both the PFS and ICAEW.

    Quite why central funding was removed and sent over to the MAS is beyond me.

    The most recent occasion I spent in school involved me delivering the same session (lasting around 90 minutes each time) to 3 classes of 30 10/11 year olds where we explored the concept of budgeting, planning current & future spending, the need to save etc. all in a format which (according to the feedback I later received) they found engaging and which stimluated thought and discussion.

    If we can instil this at an early age, then surely UK Plc will benefit as a whole as well as the individuals that we reach.

    The requirement for financial literacy to be taught already exists in the National Curriculum at both Primary and Secondary levels and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us, as a profession, to lend our expertise to the school staff for whom this is just a small element of what they are asked to deliver.

    I, for one, hope that Pfeg gets the contract.

  9. Would it also be right that motor vehicle manufacturers be made responsible for funding any perceived lack of road safety knowledge amongst schoolchildren?

    @terry. You would be amazed at how many young people belie their otherwise poor maths grades when demonstrating their ability to add up benefit entitlement or understand the odds on a betting slip 😉

  10. Gavin Fielding 24th May 2012 at 2:00 pm

    The problem of funding childrens financial education was visited during development of the Child Trust Fund when government thought the ££m cost of adding it to the national curriculum could be funded by skimming off some of the 1.5% charges allowed. The maths showed the product was borderline profitable even at 1.5%.

    PFEG did (do sorry) great work for a small spend, but when you think about it regardless of if it is paid for by central government revenue or MAS budget its all tax on the consumer,or these days borrowed/addded to the budget defecit which these very children will have to fund.

  11. Christopher
    No one is saying Financial Education is not necessary, we are saying why should we pay for it.
    If Pfeg get the contract, how many bloated salaries will there be? boards for this and junkets for that. We already pay towards education through tax.
    How about you funding a charity for advisers who have gone mad trying to pay for the upkeep of quangocrats whilst the same quangocrats who live in nothing less than luxury,try and destroy their livlihoods?
    Young people know the cost of a mobile phone contract, an xbox, PS3 and the latest trainers.
    before long some idiot will want us to make a contribution to supply them with these too.

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