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Compulsory financial education in schools

Over 100,000 people have now signed the petition calling for compulsory financial education in schools, which means it must be considered for a Parliamentary debate.

The petition championed by Martin Lewis at Money Saving Expert hit the magic 100,000 number last night, showing the enormous nationwide support for the campaign to help rid the nation of financial illiteracy, which can lead to serious debt problems.

(click here to sign the e-petition on the Government’s website).

This is the trigger by which all issues raised in Government e-petitions are considered for debate in the House of Commons .

As Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson has agreed to sponsor the petition, it stands a good chance of a Commons airing.

The issue is already on the political radar as over 250 MPs are part of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People, which also calls for compulsory money lessons.

The petition also has the support of numerous consumer groups such as Which? and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service plus of course The Financial Fairy Tales.

Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: “Thanks to everyone who’s signed the petition and played their part in putting this on the political agenda.

“Politicians of every party should hang their heads in shame. It’s a national disgrace: in the 20 years since student loans came in, we’ve educated our youth into debt when they go to university, but never about debt.”

“We’re a financially illiterate nation, with millions caught by mis-selling, over-borrowing and being ripped off. The easiest, cheapest and most important fix is to get financial education in every school.

Many wonderfully already do this, yet most don’t. The problem is unless it is compulsory, head teachers can’t focus resources to make it happen. Hopefully, this petition will be a major step to change that.”

Debate moves closer

Tomlinson, who set up the APPG, says it is vital we educate the next generation about personal finance.

He says: “I am delighted financial education is supported by so many people, and passing the 100,000 barrier on the e-petitions system is a real, major boost to our campaign.

“We are shortly set to conclude our nine-month inquiry looking at how we can deliver compulsory financial education as part of the national curriculum.

“The 100,000 signatures to the e-petition will help us secure Parliamentary time on this subject, essential for raising the profile of our report with key ministerial decision makers.”

Financial education was due to become part of the curriculum underthe previous Labour Government when then School’s Minister Ed Balls, along with Martin Lewis, launched the proposals in January 2010.

However, as those plans were tied in with sex education, they were scrapped because of the row over teaching sex to kids ahead of last year’s General Election.

 

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