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Wednesday, 19 January, 2000, 17:50 GMT
Blunkett backs financial literacy

David Blunkett Finance will be included in the revised curriculum


Financial literacy should be improved among both pupils and adults, says the Education Secretary David Blunkett.

Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Mr Blunkett called for joint ventures between the government and financial institutions to develop a better understanding of personal finance.

Pupils would benefit from the inclusion of lessons in money management in the revised curriculum due to be introduced later this year, said Mr Blunkett.

This will mean that personal finance will be included in the curriculum for subjects such as citizenship and personal and social education.

Financial exclusion
1 in 10 families do not have bank accounts
1.5 million households have no access to financial services
But there was a great need for improved financial education for adults, particularly in deprived areas where there were the deepest problems of debt and the least access to financial advice, said the minister.

As such, Mr Blunkett announced the setting up of a team to consider ways of overcoming "financial exclusion" in the poorest areas of the country. This will be headed by Derek Wanless, president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a former chief executive of NatWest.

According to Mr Blunkett, a tenth of families were currently without a bank account or any other financial services, representing 1.5 million households.

Mr Blunkett called on banks to work with the government on developing schemes to provide banking facilities for those who at present would not qualify for an account.

"What I would like to see now is a joint effort between the Institute of Bankers and the government to dramatically change the advice and support available to families, particularly in the most deprived areas where there are likely to be fewer banking outlets, less advice and greater need.
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19 Jan 00 |  Education
Consumer advice online for students

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