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Thoresen fears money lesson plans will be lost

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Aegon UK chief executive Otto Thoresen warns the Government’s attempts to radically overhaul education policy risk stalling efforts to improve financial education in schools.

The Labour Government abandoned plans to introduce compulsory financial education to the national curriculum in the build-up to the election last year.

Thoresen, who is chairman of the Personal Finance Education Group, told Money Marketing he is concerned that the proposals will now be overlooked.

He says: “I think the problem is that while you have a new Government changing the way that schools are going to operate, the programmes that were being supported by the old Government will stop.

“The question is to what extent will we be able to maintain momentum in the whole issue of financial education, given the amount of change that is going on in the education system.”

Thoresen says Pfeg’s two initiatives, My Money Week and Learning Money Matters, which is sponsored by the FSA, aim to improve personal finance education in secondary schools. Both contracts end in March.

The Department for Education is undertaking a wholesale review of the national curriculum and is evaluating which subjects should be compulsory and at what age.

The Consumer Financial Education Body, which was set up in April 2010, is responsible for helping consumers understand financial matters and manage their finances better.

Young people strategy and development manager Steve Stilwell says: “We were disappointed that just before the election the opportunity to make financial education part of the curriculum was lost in the wash-up process.

“We need to make sure that head teachers and school managers hear a very clear signal from Government that financial education is something that needs to be part of their school’s curriculum.”

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