Taxing lessons for schoolkids

Link: CIOT – making tax ‘cool’

The project is intended to form part of the citizenship module of the national curriculum which requires pupils to understand why taxes are collected and how the money is spent.

Called Tax Talking, the move is a joint project between the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians.

Penny Hamilton, CIOT president, said: ‘Everyone – even students – pays tax. Understanding it is an important component of citizenship studies.’

The education packs are designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing teachers to plan for either a single lesson or a series of lessons on tax issues.

The move has been given the seal of approval by chancellor Gordon Brown, who appears in a video that accompanies the teaching packs.

Dismissing suggestions that the initiative was a form of privatisation of education, the CIOT said that the move was in its remit as a charitable body. John Whiting, past president of CIOT and leader of the project, said: ‘Who are the experts on tax, where’s the authority? It is better that it comes from one of the professional bodies.’

Both the CIOT and ATT stressed there had been no outside sponsorship of the materials. However, part of the programme will be aimed at careers advisers, with the hope that pupils will consider a career in tax.

Launching the citizenship module last week education minister Stephen Twigg said: ‘Citizenship at its core is about the active participation of young people in society at local, national and international levels.’

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