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Charities issue warning on Citizenship Curriculum

21 October, 2015

Five independent financial education charities have warned that the new GCSE Specification for Citizenship Studies will be inadequate in delivering effective financial education.

In a letter to the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, the Charities urged the Department for Education to reconsider and widen the scope of the financial education provision to be included under the proposals.

Despite schools receiving a clear mandate to include financial education within their citizenship programmes from September 2014, the post-consultation specification for GCSE Citizenship Studies will only require students to learn about how public money is raised and spent, with little, or no provision given to key concepts such as personal income and expenditure, savings and pensions and personal debt.

In the letter, the charities also warn that the specification will hinder the national curriculum for Citizenship’s stated aim to ensure pupils are equipped “to enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis, and plan for future financial needs”.

Alison Pask, Vice Principal of ifs University College – one of the charities to sign the letter – said:

While we welcome the decision to include financial education in the national curriculum, it will ultimately be meaningless if the specification on how it is taught is insufficient. We urge the Department to heed our organisations’ input and widen the scope of its parameters to include key concepts which are applicable and appropriate to students’ day-to-day lives.

Financial education is a key life skill that is vital to ensuring young people grow up as confident and competent citizens, avoiding the pitfalls that are evident all around in our economy.”

The five signatories to the letter are MyBnk; The Money Charity; the National Skills Academy for Financial Services; ifs University College and pfeg.