UK finance directors fear that the education system is at risk of producing a
generation of financial illiterates.
Almost two in every three of the 211 finance directors polled for the
Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big Question said the education system was
not providing scholars with the required financial skills. Only 22% said that
British schools were delivering candidates of the required standard.
The results of the poll emerged after the department for work and pensions
said it was reviewing the range and effectiveness of financial accounting across
the UK, and amidst growing controversy around the quality of A level and GCSE
‘The education system has consistently failed to provide students with the
degree of financial literacy required for life and I don’t see anything changing
on a national scale,’ said Moore & Blatch FD John Davies.
John Buckley, FD of Sauter Automation Ltd, said there was an impression that
students were moving away from subjects such as maths and physics in favour of
But Ruth Stokes, head of graduate recruitment at KPMG, said applications for
the firm’s school-leaver programme were at high levels and that pass rates were
similar to previous years. ‘We have stringent entry requirements for candidates,
but have found that pass rates for entry tests are in the same percentage as
last year and application levels are higher,’ Stokes said.
Sarah Shillingford, graduate recruitment partner at Deloitte, said the Big
Four firm had recruited school leavers of ‘exceptional quality’.
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