Teenagers to have lessons in debt management

09 July 2007
School kids will be taught about mortgages, pensions and how to manage their debts under the new secondary school curriculum, due to be announced this week.

Due to growing fears that teenagers are going straight from their studies into long term debt, a new subject “economic wellbeing and financial capability” will be introduced to the curriculum for all 11 to 16-year-olds in an attempt to prepare them for the financial pressures they face on leaving school.

“Money plays a crucial part in all our lives,” Children, School and Families secretary Ed Balls told the Times Online. “I want teenagers to start learning early how to make the most of their money and savings once they start work.

“Schools have a vital role to play in encouraging young people to aim high and to improve their chances of a successful career, understand about taking risks and develop a dynamic ‘can do’ attitude.

“They need to understand everyday issues, like opening a bank account, buying a house and saving for their retirement as early as possible, developing a sense of responsibility as citizens.”

The new subject will be taught either in separate lessons or as part of other subjects, such as maths or ICT, under the reforms, which are part of an overhaul of the Key Stage 3 curriculum for pupils aged 11 to 14.

The reforms will be published on Thursday by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Ministers say that the new curriculum will give teachers more scope to introduce topical issues.

Get more information about Debt Management and how to cope with Student Debts