BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Wednesday, 6 September, 2000, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Credit card lessons for five year olds
Cash tills
Lessons will help children become more responsible consumers
Five year olds are going to be taught about credit cards, as schools introduce lessons in managing money.

Personal finance is to become part of the revised national curriculum, introduced this term, which will mean pupils aged from 5 to 16 will be taught about the financial facts of life.

The money lessons, which will be within the "lifeskills" subject called personal, social and health education, will show pupils how money is used and the importance of saving and budgeting.

Cash till
The era of spending pocket money in corner shops is gone, says guidance for teachers
For infants, this will include learning about how credit and debit cards are used when shopping.

Guidance for teachers, Living With Money in the 21st Century, emphasises that lessons should reflect the way that children now experience money.

It suggests that the image of children counting pocket money and taking it to spend in a local shop is now out of date - and that children need to understand the workings of money in an increasingly cashless society.

As pupils get older, they will be taught about the benefits of saving and how to become confident in budgeting and planning their spending.

By the time they reach 16, they will be expected to be have learned how to be responsible in handling money and will look towards practical questions such as repaying a student loan.

The introduction of personal finance into school is an attempt to tackle the longstanding concerns over the public's lack of understanding about managing money.

Financial education for adults has long proved elusive - and there are hopes that beginning lessons in school will help to prevent future problems such as consumers buying inappropriate pensions or mortgages.

Banks have already made their own efforts to improve the level of financial literacy among the young. The NatWest has sent staff into schools to teach about the basics of personal finance and HSBC (formerly the Midland bank) has run mini-bank branches in schools.

Personal finance could claim a larger place in the curriculum in the future, when it is likely to be an element of citizenship, a subject to be introduced in September 2002.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

19 Jan 00 | Education
Blunkett backs financial literacy
06 Sep 00 | UK
The fourth R: Reality
19 Jan 00 | Education
Consumer advice online for students
Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories