'Nice to see a politician listening' blog discussion

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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • jamtart6
    jamtart6 Posts: 8,302 Forumite
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    That is great news! Well done Martin!

    There is usually a slot in secondary school timetable such as "Citizenship", "Personal, Social and Health education" or such like. We were taught about the stock market in one of these session aged about 16 and had to pick our shares, place our imaginary money and track them over a few months. It was very interesting and slotted right into one of the PSHE sessions, which something like this could do too.

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

  • beer_tins
    beer_tins Posts: 1,677 Forumite
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    I like the way he used Martin's mantra about kids being educated into debt, but not about debt. I hope he doesn't claim that one for himself!

    Good to have a politician listening for a change. The tax cuts are a good idea, but will the super-rich not pack their bags for more lucrative climes if the loopholes are closed? Personally I don't believe in the trickle down theory anyway, more in the trickle up theory. Nearly all the money you give to the poorest goes straight back into the economy, because they spend the highest proportion of their income every month through necessity.
    Running Club targets 2010
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  • EricHitchmo
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    What we really need is a proper education in citizenship.

    Financial education should be one part of this, along with learning about all kinds of things about community and politics and how to be an engaged citizen. Democracy and its weaknesses, using the freedom of information act, voting, corporate power, the influence of the wealthy on politics, identity theft, civil rights, coalition and union forming, law. Ethics in investments.

    I have been disappointed at the lack of attention paid on MoneSavingExpert best buy lists and the site in general to ethical investments. Ethics can now include not only the type of investments (such as arms trading, developing world debt) but also the responsibility of an institution in terms of its finances. We should learn to think about money in terms of wider significance than just the bottom line of how much a give savings account pays.
  • brightonman123
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    how very PC...Gordo gets paid to ru(i)n the country, not me!

    all i got in school was some banker (Midlands at the time- now aka HSBC - showing us how to write to a cheque. wooo..
    Long time away from MSE, been dealing real life stuff..
    Sometimes seen lurking on the compers forum :-)
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    LibDems have been debating school finanacial education in the House since April 2007, and probably talking about it before that.
    Mr. Willis argued that financial education must be recognised as a key skill that sits alongside literacy and numeracy, as an examinable and standalone part of the curriculum. He added that until Government recognises this, ""the nation will continue to see financial illiteracy as the norm in our society
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • kingmonkey
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    Although this is very exciting, I would be hesitant to support or be appearing to support a particular party.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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    kingmonkey wrote: »
    Although this is very exciting, I would be hesitant to support or be appearing to support a particular party.

    Hi In my public capacity, I support this policy and any party that supports it. As you'll see in my earlier polticial blog - im actually talking to all the major parties at the moment :)

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Kimitatsu
    Kimitatsu Posts: 3,894 Forumite
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    I teach Financial Capability to adults (as well as being a debt adviser) and I wholeheartedly agree that this should be taught in schools, because by the time they get to be adults it is a taboo subject.

    If children were taught early in school (and being honest year 5 - 6 in primary school would be a good place to start) then they would have a better understanding of the financial world when they hit the magic 18. Teaching children the basics of budgeting on a weekly basis and the basics of credit and debt would make a massive difference to them. Pfeg already publish a huge amount of material for schools to use, but although financial capability is on the curriculum it is only as an option not compulsory.

    Its not just about teaching children in school though, its about making money and related financial services easy to talk about on a group basis and easy to access information about for everyone. I am a fairly well educated person, but I find that for many of the leaflets that are out there, and the financial services which are offered are difficult to access, especially if you do not have a good level of education (many of the people I work with have an average literacy age below that of secondary school and numeracy is very poor as well). When you can access them, its a question of knowing what to ask for, especially with govt depts! If you know WHAT to ask for, then you can have it, but if you dont ask then you cant :mad: There needs to be far more transparency in the help that is available and how it can be accessed.

    The other disadvantage of teaching children and not adults is you get a generation gap and children will be discouraged from doing it differently - "because we have always done it this way before". If there was a way of accessing the whole family into this process that would be ideal, as different generations process information differently, it would also make the financial world a less daunting place for all of them! I see many parents who have a cognitive deficit and so would not like to admit that in front of a group, so we play games and use monopoly money to overcome this issue - expanded out to the family, it could be a way of including everyone and teaching them all at the same time. See a potential new game there??! Hamleys here I come lol!

    The issue as always however is funding - my project is fortunate to have big lottery funding for the next couple of years, but is restrictive in the area that I can practice. There is a new funding initiative being piloted with the CAB "the pathway to independant advice" but this will only give free financial advice it will not cover the education aspect of it as it is based on the Thorenson report, and so users will be referred through to an IFA.

    Ideally what we need is some "joined up thinking" for the whole sector involvement in this rather than indivual projects and govt funded projects which cover part of the picture rather than the whole.

    Right stepping off my soapbox now and off to hang my anorak back up on the peg :cool:
    Free/impartial debt advice: Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) | National Debtline | Find your local CAB
  • robbyj64
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    We should be a little cautious about this becoming a political points scoring debate. Nobody disagrees that we should teach pupils to be financially astute but how to do this effectively is far more complex than providing a discrete lesson in 'financial management'. Maths, certainly is part of the equation (no pun intended) but there are many other areas of the curriculum that help students become financially savvy. Information technology, citizenship and maths play a big part in it. To pick up on Erichichmo's very valid point on ethics, geography has a big part to play as well. One of the every child matters outcomes is 'achieve economic well-being' so this is increasingly uppermost in the minds of all teachers, irrespective of their subject discipline. The new KS3 curriculum rightly is making links between areas of the curriculum so this should help schools improve financial education. The Ofsted framework for inspections tests the economic well being of pupils in secondary and primary schools. This already does far more than measure the ICT, maths and English capability of students. In fact, for schools to score highly in this, they should be demonstrating how they encourage ethical awareness of products, finance and how students are given opportunities to begin their own enterprises in schools.

    Should the school curriculum be changed then? Absolutely not. The indicators are that things are already moving fast in this area. Adding another subject to the curriculum, particularly at secondary school level would fragment even further a curriculum that is just starting to come together. One major reason the curriculum was simplified this September was to break down these barriers, not create new ones and overload a curriculum that was already massively overloaded with content rather than building up skills.

    I visit about 200 schools a year. Enterprise education has come on enormously over the past 5 years or so, particularly since 2005. The indicators are that this trend is set to increase.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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    Roobyj64

    Your reply is one of my main concerns to be honest. Whenever I talk about educating children about debt and financial issues one of the rebuttals is about "young entreprise" and "enterprise education".

    I believe those are very important things to teach kids about. Yet they are NOT consumer education.

    It doesn't teach kids that a credit card minimum repayment on £3,000 will mean they're in debt for 41 years at £6,300. IT doesn't teach them about comparing goods to find the best. It doesn't teach kids about compound interest, how student loans works, the rip offs of car insurance when they get their first car, how to work through mobile tariffs, what a mortgage is, why they should pay off debts before savings, how pensions work and why preplanning is important.

    These are a seperate issue and subject... and for me crucial in our modern competition consumer and credit based economy.

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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