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Lessons in money for teenagers

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School children are set to be taught about money management following the launch of two new certificates from the Institute of Financial Services. Andrew Partridge reportsA series of school courses, aimed at 14 to 16 year olds, will cover issues such as loans, international currencies and car insurance.

The foundation and intermediary certificates will aim to improve the poor levels of financial awareness in the UK, starting at a grass roots level. The exams will aim to give students a good understanding of money management to help them to make well informed financial decisions later in life.

The Institute will supply schools with the curriculum, teaching materials and exam papers to allow them to offer the courses to students that will also be studying for their GCSEs.

The exams will ask students simple questions about bank accounts, cash machines, pay slips and borrowing money.

IFS chief executive Gavin Shreeve said the courses were urgently needed as financial literacy was at “crisis point”, as consumer debt had topped £1 trillion in 2005.

He said: “The introduction of the IFS level one and two qualifications could not have come at a better time and we hope to encourage more schools and colleges to take up our financial capability qualifications to help secure a financially fit future. We believe these skills are so fundamental that we are also planning to offer these courses to the wider adult community.”

The launch of the new courses follows a successful pilot of the personal finance certificates at UK schools.

The IFS already offers courses for 17 to 18 year olds studying for their A-levels, and nearly 100 schools offer those courses.

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