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MoneySavingExpert.com & Mumsnet Join Forces to Launch Urgent Financial Education Petition

Published: 29th April 2010 22:59

Web giants fight to stop politicians leaving children in the financial mire

Consumer revenge website MoneySavingExpert.com and parenting site Mumsnet have joined forces to shove financial education back on the curriculum after it was killed off the 'Children, Schools & Families Bill' as a victim of last-minute pre-election legislation jostling.

With over 10m unique users a month combined, the sites have launched www.financialeducationpetition.com. Parents and those let down by their own financial education are urged to use it to send a robust message to those chomping to be the new PM to ensure the next generation isn't left in the financial mire.

It's predicted 10,000s will sign, showing the wealth of feeling that this is too important to be allowed to drift into nothingness - and the parties need to reappraise their priorities. In a recent poll of over 8,000 people, 97% supported financial education in schools, while 3% believed it is a job for parents (see notes to editors).

Shockingly, the reason it fell was nothing to do with financial education, but that the parties couldn't agree over the parental 'opt-out' of sex education, part of the same Bill. Had that not happened, financial education was due to become statutory as part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) lessons in September 2011.

Martin LewisMartin Lewis (pictured right), creator of MoneySavingExpert.com, comments:

"We're a nation that educates our youth into debt when they go to university, but never educates them about debt. Yet the entire system was all about to change. Things were getting in place for compulsory financial education starting in September 2011 - the DCFS was nicely geared up, last month it even held a conference for teachers on how to teach it. I spoke there alongside Ed Balls, and everyone was excited at the prospect.

"Now it's been scuppered, yet financial education is an absolute necessity. Enough is enough, we're now calling on our future Prime Minster to confirm that, whatever happens, they won't ruin the work that's been done and leave financial education sitting in detention like a naughty school child."

Justine Roberts, creator of Mumsnet, says:

"In an ideal world, children would get this kind of information from their parents, but that presupposes a good working financial knowledge in every home in the UK. Mumsnetters are a realistic bunch; they agree we need financial education to be taught in schools to make sure every child gets a good grounding in the basics."

Chris Tapp from money education charity Credit Action, says:

"For too long we've allowed our young people to set off into the complex world of personal finance without giving the education they need to cope. It's like we've been sending out people to drive without first giving them instruction and then being shocked when they crash. It's a no-brainer, everybody needs to manage money and use financial products wisely and I wholeheartedly support this call to the next government - whatever colour it may be - to ensure that giving every child the opportunity to learn about finance is of the upmost priority after the election."

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