Sam Dunn: Teach our kids a lesson that's worth learning of the class

It has never taken much to tempt young people to talk about money

Without fail, I would gaze out of dusty windows in physics lessons. My school was perched on a hill and the science lab afforded a magnificent view across the whole of south Bristol.

But that wasn't what drew my attention - rather, my daydreaming was prompted by a lack of desire to learn about Boyle's law or any other law of physics. The subject always seemed complex and unrelated to any aspect of my teenage life.

I may have been depriving myself of a valuable part of my education, but for today's pupils, it transpires that boredom in the classroom is a bonus.

According to a handful of delegates at this year's annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, if pupils get a hefty dose of ennui during lessons they will be better prepared for the drudgery that awaits them in adult life.

One delegate even suggested that boredom in class can help stimulate creativity as it encourages pupils to dream up ways to alleviate their apathy.

I hope those thrashing out the latest plans to put personal finance education on to the National Curriculum (see page 28) don't take such ideas too much to heart. Any notion that money management is a boring subject needs to be kept firmly in check.

The exact shape the personal finance element of our National Curriculum will ultimately take is still under discussion, but one thing it doesn't need right now is the suggestion that it's OK to be mediocre or monotonous.

Over the next 18 months, the educational charity Pfeg will be training teachers to deliver lessons in personal finance. All being well, this should lead to a much wider take-up of the subject in our schools.

When they think of it all, many people still think of personal finance in the same way as I once thought of physics: a boring and complicated subject. They cannot imagine it being turned into lessons just as lively as those promoting drug awareness or sex education.

But think of the groundbreaking changes to our pensions saving regime, the dangers of credit card binges and soaring bank-ruptcies (to name just a few rather pressing concerns), and such attitudes can be seen to be highly irrational.

It has never taken much to tempt youngsters to talk about money: making it, borrowing it, using it, losing it and more. So an enlightened educational policy that digs deep into the subject - in a colourful but credible manner - should reap huge rewards, inspiring young people to deal confidently with cash in all its forms.

Those lucky enough to have been taught any subject at school by an inspirational teacher will remember the impact this can have. In years to come, today's pupils might look back with gratitude on their personal finance lessons.

Broadband battles

The Carphone Warehouse caused a commotion with its free broadband deal last week.

Tens of thousands rushed to take advantage, the company later reported. But anybody wanting to change their broadband provider - or taking out the service for the first time - should probably wait to see what other deals emerge over the next few weeks.

Rival companies will no doubt hit back swiftly, and the price war promises to be as bloody as they get. If you can, hold off before you board the latest broadband bandwagon.

s.dunn@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

    Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

    £30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

    Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

    £25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore