Accountants back campaign to improve schoolchildrens’ literacy

Under the institute’s five-point ‘Everybody Counts’ millennium plan , chartered accountants are enouraged to work on a voluntary-basis with pupils aged 5 to 18.

‘Two of the five themes of our millennium project, focus on education,’ David Tinker, project coordinator, told Accountancy Age. ‘Primary school is probably the best time for children to start learning basic numeracy.’

The FSA hosted its first education conference yesterday in support of the government’s National Numeracy Strategy. The FSA’s has a statutory objective to promote public understanding of the British financial system and its institutions.

‘Giving school children the opportunity to learn basic financial skills will ensure that they are able to understand and cope with major financial decisions later in life,’ Howard Davies, chairman of the Financial Services Authority told the audience of 200 primary teachers.

Significant gaps exist between the financial knowledge and experiences of children from high and low income households aged between six and eleven years, according to FSA-commissioned research carried out by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), Loughborough University,

Personal finance education is scheduled to be included in the National Curriculum from this September. The FSA has launched MEGA MONEY, giant three-dimensional, card coins, in order to assist primary teachers in their understanding and teaching of this new subject area

In addition, the FSA is planning a website specially designed to aid teachers’ numeracy work in primary schools. Nevertheless, the onus will lie solely on the Department of Education to ensure teachers are prepared to educate in this subject area, according to an FSA spokeswoman.

A second education conference directed at secondary schools and hosted by the FSA is scheduled for next year. The FSA was set up by the government to regulate financial services and protect consumers.

Details of the English ICA’s project can be found at http://www.everybodycounts

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