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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 12:51 GMT
New financial courses for schools
A pay slip
On a pay slip, what is 'basic pay'?
Schools will be able to teach personal finance to 14-16 year olds from September this year.

The Institute of Financial Services has launched two new qualifications for them - a foundation certificate and an intermediate certificate.

The Institute will supply the curriculum, teaching materials, and exams for schools to offer their pupils alongside GCSE topics.

The courses will cover issues such as loans, currencies and car insurance.

The exam asks simple questions about deciphering pay slips, the cheapest way to borrow money, the eBay auction web site, bank accounts and ATMs.

Although not part of the formal range of GCSE courses, the new certificates have been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Pilot scheme

The introduction of the qualifications for younger students comes half-way though a pilot programme which had produced such positive feedback that the Institute decided to launch the new studies this autumn.

"We have had huge interest in this," said the Institute's Dorothy Wood. "We are expecting it to grow like topsy."

Each qualification has two parts: "Introduction to Money" and "Money Management" for the Foundation Certificate; and "Personal Financial Encounters" and "Money Management Solutions" for the Intermediate Certificate.

Gavin Shreeve, Chief Executive at the Institute said he believed that with consumer debt topping 1 trillion in 2005, financial literacy was at crisis point in the UK.

"We believe these skills are so fundamental that we are also planning to offer these courses to the wider adult community," he said.

For the last five years, schools and colleges have been able to offer both a certificate and diploma in financial studies organised by the Institute.

This is aimed at 17-18 year olds, for instance those studying at A level.

Nearly 100 schools are offering these, with more than 2,000 students currently studying the certificate.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
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SEE ALSO:
Student financial concerns raised
09 Jan 06 |  Education
Money matters 'confuse Britons'
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Students 'misunderstanding debt'
19 Oct 04 |  Education
Britannia in debt education call
19 Feb 04 |  Staffordshire
Finance lessons hailed a success
20 Jan 04 |  Business


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