GCSE will bank on how students manage money
Pupils are to be taught how to manage their own money under a new GCSE course being introduced next year.
The AQA board's "business subjects and economics" GCSE will include a unit on personal economics, covering topics such as the choice between saving and spending, and the different ways of borrowing money. The qualification was developed by AQA subject experts, who were told to ensure it would equip pupils with skills they need in the modern world.
"We included personal economics because it is something we feel there is a market for," a spokesman said. "We all have a need to be competent in our own personal economic management but it is amazing the proportion of the population who are not."
Pupils will also be examined on why prices change; markets; competition; and the social, moral, and ethical issues they may be confronted with when deciding how to use their own money.
The course will cover the nature of work, how people are paid, and unemployment. It will follow the introduction of teaching in economic wellbeing and capability to 11- to 16-year-olds from September.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority expects the new 11-16 programme, which includes lessons on budgeting and credit cards, to be taught in PSHE classes alongside careers education.
An Ofsted report published last month criticised the quality of personal finance education. Where it worked well, schools gave pupils days off timetable to take part in practical activities.
But inspectors found topics related to low-income families were often ignored, and teachers' subject knowledge was sometimes lacking.