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Govt considers school financial literacy exams from 2015

The Government is considering introducing financial literacy exams for 15-year-olds in England from 2015 to measure their “real-life” knowledge and financial capability.

London UK Parliament Big Ben Lamp 480

The exams would be conducted by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and only apply to England as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved education powers.

Under its Programme for International Student Assessment, launched in 1997, the OECD holds assessments every three years. It has tested students from 70 countries in areas such as mathematics and reading.

In 2015, countries may participate in its voluntary financial literacy tests. Tory MP Mark Garnier tabled a written parliamentary question asking whether the Government plans to do so.

Responding for the Government today, education minister Elizabeth Truss wrote: “The Department is considering the costs and benefits of England’s participation in the optional components of the OECD’s PISA 2015 study, including the assessment of financial literacy. The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend Michael Gove, will take a decision shortly.”

The Government has come under growing pressure to introduce financial education onto the national curriculum. Since its launch in January 2011, the All Parliamentary Group on financial education has become the biggest in parliament with 225 MPs.

Last week, a private members bill tabled by Labour MP Thomas Docherty called for financial education in schools but was not debated in parliament because of a lack of time.

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