Responding to the Secretary of State for Education’s decision ( written and oral ministerial statement to Parliament on 19th July) not to make financial education or preparation for the workplace mandatory in schools within PSHE, Michael Mercieca CEO of national financial and enterprise education charity Young Enterprise commented:
‘It is very disappointing news that the Government has not heeded the advice of teachers and experts and has announced that it will not be making the entirety of the PSHE subject mandatory. The E for Economic strand of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education will not become compulsory in schools – yet this area covers vital aspects of preparing young people for their lives after education – in terms of practical financial literacy skills plus preparation for the workforce helping students to secure jobs and be effective in them.
Not making the whole of PSHE mandatory will mean provision of the subject will remain inconsistent between schools in terms of planning and actual delivery. PSHE aspects of financial education cover the crucial ‘personal’ aspects that cannot be tackled in maths and citizenship (e.g. attitude to risk and budgeting) and today’s decision means that children at primary level will not receive any financial education. The government has also failed to take the opportunity to ensure that sufficient time will be made in schools to prepare students for the workplace in either primary or secondary education.
We look forward to hearing from the Government how it intends to support the financial and enterprise education community to ensure all young people across the country get the chance to improve their skills for the future. It really is time now for action rather than words, in particular to address the current debt crisis.”