HM Treasury Brief: Financial education as a possible response to the financial crisis

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Financial Education in Schools: Some Findings from INFE Countries

  • IEFP-OECD Symposium on Financial Education, Paris
  • Sue Lewis, Head of Savings and Investments, HM Treasury, UK
  • 5 pages
  • Restricted
  • May 20, 2009

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Financial Education in OECD Schools – Summary

  • 31 countries responded
  • 17 had financial education in schools; 14 did not
  • Well established in some countries (US, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Poland); others more recent
  • Compulsory in 8 countries; 9 have statutory curriculum
  • Standalone subject in 5 countries
  • Generally about one hour a week
  • 8 countries teach throughout school (approx. age 5-18)

Advantages of starting young

  • Prepare children to:
  • Make good decisions about money
  • Use financial products wisely
  • Get ready for the world of work
  • Understand the economy
  • Know where to go to for help about money

Elements of financial education

  • Budgeting personal and household income
  • Understanding financial concepts, like interest
  • Understanding risk
  • How to use a bank
  • Products for different life stages
  • Saving, investment and retirement planning
  • Ethical considerations; economics

Enablers for financial education in schools

  • Government support
  • A lead organisation to promote financial education
  • A statutory curriculum
  • Good teacher training and materials
  • Money!

Involvement of stakeholders

  • Regulator, central bank, stock exchange, consumer protection agencies, NGOs, banks
  • Protection against conflicts:
  • Standards prohibiting marketing or advertising material
  • Expert committees
  • Quality assurance

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