Seven out of ten schoolchildren in the Midlands would like more financial education to help them handle their money and prepare for life beyond the classroom.
The charitable ifs School of Finance has welcomed the results of a national poll carried out by Abbey National and the Citizenship Foundation among 3,000 pupils aged 14 to 18.
The study, which revealed that 70 per cent of respondents would like to receive more financial education in school, supports a campaign run by the Birmingham Post and Barclays Bank four years ago urging the Government to make financial literacy a compulsory part of the curriculum.
The campaign was backed by business leaders, including former Trade Minister Lord (Digby) Jones, but the Government shied away from making personal finance lessons mandatory.
The new national poll comes as the economy continues to battle the recession. It revealed that knowledge of finance and the wider markets is one of the three topics that respondents would like to learn more about at school – the others are budgeting and tax – to give them a more informed perspective on their finances and managing money.
The ifs School of Finance, as the only provider of GCSE equivalent qualifications in personal finance, as well as AS and A-level equivalent qualifications in financial studies, has long campaigned for personal finance to be given a higher profile in the national curriculum.
Its dean of further education, Anne Kiem, said: “The results of this poll clearly reinforce the need for more financial education in schools. In the current climate, it is no surprise that young people want to learn about finance and how to look after their money and they clearly do not think that this need is being met by teaching bits and pieces of financial education through PSHE (personal, social and health education).
“A separate qualification would meet this need.”