A petition to make financial education a compulsory part of the school curriculum had been signed by more than 12,200 people by this morning.
The petition was posted on the Government’s new e-petition website by Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis last week. If it reaches 100,000 signatures the topic will be referred to the House of Commons backbench business committee for consideration for debate in Parliament. This morning in less than an hour the number of signatures rose by over 1000.
The petition says it is a “national disgrace” that young people in the UK have not received financial education and that the low levels of financial literacy have led to millions being caught by misselling, over-borrowing or being ripped off.
It says: “Companies spend billions on marketing and teaching their staff to sell – it is time we got the buyers’ training. The most cost effective way to start is to ensure every child in the country gets a basic understanding of personal finance and consumer rights before leaving school.”
The drive for financial education in schools has support in Parliament. More than 200 MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People which is currently undertaking a review of the current state of financial education in schools. Its website says it aims to create a “model of finance education that truly equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need to become intelligent and responsible consumers”.