Parents and teachers push for lessons in money

Some 90 per cent of parents and teachers want to see financial education on the school curriculum, with more than half giving it higher priority than traditional subjects such as geography and RE, according to a new survey from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

"Parents are clearly worried about their children's ability to manage their finances in the future and feel financial education is a crucial skill for adult life, said AIC spokesman Annabel Brodie-Smith.

"They clearly feel they have missed out by not learning the basics, so it's no wonder they want their children to be better prepared for the wider world."

Around 40 per cent of parents and teachers feel financial education should be mandatory in schools, but just 4 per cent of teachers include it in lessons.

However, parents claim they would be in a healthier financial situation now if they had been taught about money at school. Some 90 per cent of mothers and fathers taking part in the survey said they had missed out on this, and two-thirds would now like some sort of personal finance training as an adult, either to pass on to their children or to help in sorting out their own financial affairs.

"In today's quick-fix society, there is an even greater need for financial education in our curriculum," said Julie Ward, deputy head of Aylsham High School in Norwich. "Students see their parents paying for goods by credit card, and cash comes out of a wall painlessly.

"They need to begin to learn the value of money and that should happen at primary school," she added. "Then, by the time they reach secondary school age, making sound financial decisions becomes second nature."