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Personal Finance Education

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Personal Finance Education

  1. 1. December 2008 Personal Finance Education A curriculum mapping Draft Report December 17th 2008
  2. 2. Office of the Financial Regulator Researched and written by Annette Honan 2
  3. 3. Office of the Financial Regulator Contents Introduction 5 Junior Certificate - Home Economics 9 - Mathematics 14 - Business Studies 18 - SPHE 21 - CSPE 23 Leaving Certificate (established) - Home Economics 25 - Mathematics 29 - Accounting 32 - Business 34 - Economics 35 Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme 36 Leaving Certificate Applied Programme 39 - Mathematical Applications 41 - Vocational Preparation and Guidance 43 - English and Communication 44 - Social Education 45 Conclusions 47 3
  4. 4. Office of the Financial Regulator 4
  5. 5. Office of the Financial Regulator Introduction Numerous international surveys have shown that many people lack the knowledge and skills to manage their money well. The importance of providing good financial education has been acknowledged at the global and EU level, and resulted in a range of policy documents and resolutions calling for concerted action and co-operation in this matter1. It is clear that the education of all citizens in financial matters is becoming increasingly important. Indeed it could be argued that the current difficulties in the global financial markets arise, in part, from consumers being given mortgages and loans beyond their means and not being sufficiently literate in financial matters to understand the risks and benefits associated with borrowing. There is no single solution to the challenge of how to equip people to manage their finances well. A range of interventions are needed, comprising education, information and advice both within schools and in the wider community. This report explores the opportunities that exist within post primary education to promote Personal Finance Education. Within post primary classrooms Personal Finance Education is not a stand alone part of the curriculum. Opportunities for teaching and learning in relation to personal finance occur across the curriculum in several subject areas – most notably in mathematics, business subjects, and home economics. These are the areas on which this report will concentrate. SPHE and CSPE are also surveyed because they can develop skills which are necessary for communicating and negotiating with confidence about one’s personal finances. The aim of this study is to identify the main opportunitites for Personal Finance Education within the post primary curriculum. This study focuses on the subjects where financial education is most relevant and which provide the greatest potential for incorporating the content, skills and attitudes relevant to Personal Finance Education. It is important to acknowledge that opportunties also occur in other subject areas, as well as outside the formal curriculum, and these too have an important role to play in developing young people’s financial literacy. For example, students can gain important learning organising a fundraising event, managing a budget for a field trip or through participating in work-based learning. 1 www.oecd.org/daf/financialeducation 5
  6. 6. Office of the Financial Regulator Defining personal finance education This study is informed by the OECD definition of financial education which states Financial education is the process by which financial consumers/investors improve their understanding of financial products, concepts and risks and, through information, instruction and/or objective advice, develop the skills and confidence to become more aware of financial risks and opportunities, to make informed choices, to know where to go for help, and to take other effective actions to improve their financial well-being. Accordingly, financial education has several components and is seen as a process by which consumers • improve their understanding of financial products, concepts and risks • develop the skills and confidence to become more aware of financial products, concepts and risks • learn to know where to go for help • learn to take effective action to improve their financial well-being. Thus, financial education goes beyond the provision of financial information and advice, it also seeks to develop the skills and attitudes needed to enable people to become more effective in managing their personal finances. The aims of personal finance education The aims of personal finance education are to enable young people to develop • knowledge and understanding to inform judgments and decisions about managing money in their present and future lives • appropriate attitudes reflected in taking personal responsibility for money management, questioning the claims of some financial products and evaluating available information before taking financial decisions • financial skills demonstrated through day-to-day money management and planning for future financial needs, such as budgeting for weekly household 6
  7. 7. Office of the Financial Regulator items, monitoring bank accounts and credit cards and checking whether savings and investments are meeting financial goals2. This mapping of curricular opportunities for Personal Finance Education does not simply show the content opportunities and where learning outcomes correspond between Personal Finance Education and specific syllabuses. It also points out where the skills, attitiudes and values needed for financial competency can be embedded within teaching and learning in the selected subject areas. In addition, it suggests how Personal Finance Education can support the embedding of the five key skills within the classroom.3 2 www.pfeg.org/curriculum_and_policy/index.html 3 The 5 key skills identifed by the NCCA as central to effective learning are information processing, communicating, working with others, critical and creative thinking and being personally effective. The Key Skills framework is available to download from www.ncca.ie (under senior cycle developments) 7
  8. 8. Office of the Financial Regulator Personal Finance Education – An Overview The chart below provides a summary of the key features of Personal Finance Education Knowledge Skills Attitudes and values Information about – Ability to – ! An awareness of one’s own attitudes source and evaluate financial towards money Managing personal information and products money – needs and from a range of sources ! A critical awareness wants, budgeting, saving, of what influences managing credit and plan financial goals how we spend or save loans, dealing with debt, money income tax, etc. distinguish between wants and needs and between Planning ahead – short term and long term ! An appreciation of the planning for future income needs impact of financial needs and large decisions on oneself expenditures evaluate the consequences and others of a range of choices Staying informed – ! A sense of personal knowledge of consumer communicate about financial responsibility for rights and responsibilities, matters with confidence managing one’s where to go for financial using the appropriate financial well-being information, etc. language ! A commitment to good Choosing products – make informed decisions stewardship of understanding different about managing money financial resources financial products and services recognise value for money ! Confidence in undertaking financial The 5 key skills identified by the activities NCCA as central to effective learning are also relevant to ! An appreciation of the personal finance education. importance of acquiring financial - Information processing literacy in order to - Communicating make informed decisions - Working with others - Critical and creative thinking - Being personally effective 8
  9. 9. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Home Economics and Personal Finance Education The Junior Certificate Home Economics syllabus provides students with the opportunity to attain the knowledge, undestanding and skills necessary to live as individuals and as members of the family and community. Emphasis throughout the course is on management, creativity and living skills; to ensure that the student is prepared for personal independence and with the ability to partake in shared responsibility in the household and community in which he or she lives. Two key concepts are emphasised throughout the course. These are personal management and consumer competence. Both of these concepts are central to Personal Finance Education. Amongst the aims of the syllabus are to ! enable students to aquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to live, full, healthy lives as individuals and family members ! encourage the development of procedural, manipulative, creative, communicative and affective skills trhough investigation, design and practical activities for application to everyday life within the home and community ! provide opportunities for students to develop competence in decision making in relation to management of their personal resources and as consumers. In addition, the objectives of the syllabus include to ! develop in students the skills to manage their personal resources, and resources within their homes and their environment ! make students more judicious and discerning in their knowledge and awareness of consumer information, rights and responsibilities, and other consumer matters ! develop skills in planning, investigating, obtaining, interpreting, manipulating and evaluating data in a variety of forms and from a variety of sources. There are many areas of content within the syllabus that directly promote Personal Finance Education. These are set out in the table below. In addition, the Home Economics syllabus promotes many skills – problem-solving, decision-making, planning, setting personal goals, communication - that are central to the development 9
  10. 10. Office of the Financial Regulator of financial competency. The course also fosters values and attitudes that are compatible with Personal Finance Education. For example, it prompts students to question how their consumer choices are influened by advertisiing and other factors; it encourages students to appreciate their power, rights and responsibilities as consumers; it promotes a sense of personal responsibility for managing one’s own finances and resources and it develops confidence and personal effectiveness in dealing with financial decisions and matters. 10
  11. 11. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Home Economics and Personal Finance Education Content Links and Learning Outcomes Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Section 1: Food Studies and Culinary Skills 1.3 Foods Ability to think critically and weigh up the Identity factors to be considered when purchasing food different factors to be considered in making (hygene, freshness, quality, cost/value for money) food choices, including cost/value for money 1.5 Meal Planning Identify the human and material resources necessary for Ability to plan and budget for various types of the planning of meals for individuals and families meals using set criteria Apply their knowledge of nutrition, diet, variety/classes of food when selecting and purchasing food in order to get value for money while at the same time selecting and purchasing healty, nutritious and seasonal food. Section 2: Consumer Studies and Resource Management 2.1 Consulmer rights and responsibilities Explain the terms consumer, consumer awareness and Critical awareness of the various influences consumer information which affect consumer spending Identify internal and external factors affecting consumer decision-making Awareness of the power and influence of advertising on consumers Analyse the extent to which consumers are influenced by advertising Confidence in one’s ability to act as an Explain the rights of the consumer when purchasing informed and responsibe consumer goods and when using services Establish what is meant by consumer responsibility Compile a set of guidelines, which would be of assistance to the consumer when shopping 2.2 Consumer protection Explain the term consumer protection Awareness of consumer protection Justify the necessity for consumer protection mechanisms Identify and explain the main features of: The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 and the Consumer Information Act 1978 11
  12. 12. Office of the Financial Regulator Describe how both of these acts protect the consumer Illustrate their knowledge of consumer protection Confidence to exercise their rights as through role-play or case studies consumers Explain the meaning and purpose of a guarantee Ability to communicate assertively in a range of consumer situations Differentiate between statutory and non-statutory consumer protection agencies and assign one agency to each category Ability to recognise when consumer rights have been infringed and take approriate Outline the services offerd to the consumer by each of action the agencies listed Outline the procedure to be followed when making a Ability to make sound, informed decisions consumer complaint using all the available information Apply their knowledge of consumerism when choosing a course of action where their rights have been infringed Illustrate the proposed procedure by preparing appropriate written and oral presentations, for example letter of complaint, case studies, role play Use case studies to demonstrate and justify the proposed course of action where consumer rights have been infringed Apply their knowledge of labelling, date stamping, guarantees and packaging to alert them to the importance of quality and standards in goods and services 2.4 Personal and money management Define management and analyse the characteristics of an effective manager Describe the management process that could be applied Ability to manage personal resources when managing resources, for example, pocket money, effectively time and skills Ability to distinguish between needs and Differentiate between needs, wants and priorities, and wants and long term and short term needs give examples of each Demonstrate an understanding of management Ability to set personal financial goals processes by providing clear guidelines for: making and construct actions plans to help reach choices and decisions; setting goals; identifying those goals resources; planning; action; and evaluating task Apply their knowledge and skills to the management of Ability to make wise decisions when personal and household incomes managing money Define budgeting and list the advantages to the consumer of adhering to the budget 12
  13. 13. Office of the Financial Regulator Categorise the main areas of individual and household expenditure Ability to evaluate the pros and cons of Apply budgeting and decision-making skills to identify decisions needs and priorities when managing money Justify the importance of regular savings Ability to source and evaluate financial Describe and evaluate the methods of payment information and products from a range of available to the consumer when paying for goods and sources services Ability to communicate about financial Explain the meaning of credit and identify three different matters using the appropriate language forms of credit available to the consumer List the advantages and disadvantages of using credit when buying goods and using services Section 3: Home Management and Design 3.4 Technology in the home Apply their knowledge and skills as a competent Skills of critical thinking and discernment consumer to the choice and use of household needed to make sound, informed decisions appliances using all the available information 13
  14. 14. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Mathematics and Personal Finance Education Mathematics is a wide-ranging subject that is both practical and theoretical. Its primary aim is to contribute to the personal development of the students and to help to provide them with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding needed for continuing their education and eventually for life and work. Hence, the course seeks to develop the language and skills needed for handling many aspects of everyday life, including financial life. There are eight areas of content and the areas of content that relate most directly to Personal Finance Education are number systems, applied arithmatic and measure and statistics. In addition, it could be argued that Mathematics develops a range of core skills that are needed for financial literacy and for dealing with one’s personal finances including, numeracy skills, problem-solving skills and skills in analysing and interpreting data and drawing relevant conclusions. The course also seeks to develop the students’ confidence in working with numbers and this too is important for later life when managing one’s personal finances. Junior Certificate Mathematics is offered at three levels: Foundation, Ordinary and Higher, with each syllabus sharing a good deal of common content but dealing with it in different ways. Subject content is presented in each syllabus level under the following topics and those relevant to Personal Finance Education are highlighted in bold: • Sets • Number systems • Applied arithmetic and measure • Algebra • Statistics (and data handling at Foundation level) • Geometry • Trigonometry (Ordinary level and Higher level only) • Functions and graphs (and relations at Foundation level) 14
  15. 15. Office of the Financial Regulator Looking forward A new initiative in maths got under way in September 2008, with the start-up of Project Maths in an initial group of 24 schools. These schools will introduce a revised syllabus for both Junior Certficate and Leaving Certificate Mathematics on a phased basis. The aim is to place much greater emphasis on student understanding of mathematical concepts, with increased use of contexts and applications that will enable students to relate Mathematics to everyday experience. The initiative will also focus on developing students’ problem-solving skills. In parallel with changes in curriculum, there will be changes in the way Mathematics is assessed, to reflect the different emphasis on understanding and skills in the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Feedback from the school-based experience in the initial stages of Project Maths will inform final revision of syllabuses and support materials before their introduction to all schools from September 2010 on a phased basis. Maths syllabuses will be developed under five strand headings4: 1. statistics and probability 2. geometry and trigonometry 3. number 4. algebra 5. functions According as the revised strands are introduced, students will experience Mathematics in a new way, using examples and applications that are meaningful for them. These will also allow students to appreciate how Mathematics relates to daily life and to the world of work. For example, they will be performing calculations to inform decision-making on financial decisions with the aim of recognising value for money. Students will develop skills in analysing, interpreting and presenting mathematical information; in logical reasoning and argument, and in applying their mathematical knowledge and skills to solve familiar and unfamiliar problems. Many of the changes to the teaching of Maths that are currently being developed and tested thought Project Maths will greatly improve students’ financial literacy skills and their ability to deal with financial data in their everyday lives. 4 Both Ordinary Level and Higher Level students will study the same topics. 15
  16. 16. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Mathematics – New Syllabus In the junior cycle, a more investigative approach will be used which will build on and extend students’ experience of Mathematics in the primary school, gradually leading them to an understanding of more abstract mathematics concepts. To provide better continuity with primary school Mathematics, a bridging framework is being developed that links the various strands of Mathematics in the primary school to topics in the Junior Certificate Mathematics syllabuses. The new syllabus will be putting a strong emphasis on value for money as is illustrated below by an excerpt from the new syllabus Ordinary Level Higher Level Value for money calculations: eg mobile phone tariffs, Calculations involving Cost Price Selling currency transactions, shopping, VAT, meter readings Price Finding % Profit/ Loss (on the Cost price) % Profit / Loss/ Discount Finding % Discount Calculations involving Compound interest Finding Selling Price Calculations involving Income Tax/ Net Pay Finding Compound interest for not more that 3 years Finding Income tax/Net pay (standard rate only) 16
  17. 17. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Mathematics (current syllabus) and Personal Finance Education Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Number Systems Addition, subtraction, division, multiplication Problem solving and numeracy skills Decimals, fractions, percentages Competence in mental artithematic Appilied arithmatic and measure Bills Ability to apply Maths to everyday situations, for example, in looking after personal finances Profit and loss Percentage profit Tax Annual Interest Compound interest Value added tax (VAT) Statistics Drawing and interpreting bar charts, pie charts Ability to interpret data using statistics from the world around them, including financial data and trend graphs Mean and mode Confidence and competence in reading graphical representations of financial data 17
  18. 18. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Business Studies and Personal Finance Education The Business Studies syllabus is balanced between the business education necessary for the individual to manage his/her everyday finances and business education in the purely commercial context. This balance is achieved by devoting separate syllabus sectons to ‘the Business of Living’ and ‘Enterprise. A section on ‘Economic Awareness’ forms a bridge between these two sections. A fourth section ‘Information Technology aims to provide students with the necessary computer skills to store, retrieve and transmit financial data electronically. A number of the aims and objectives for Junior Certificate Business Studies coincide with the aims and objectives of Personal Finance Education. For example, one of the overarching aims of the syllabus is to provide each student with an appropriate level of economic/business literacy. The objectives of the syllabus include ! To enable students to acquire a knowledge and an understanding of commercial activites and to provide an introduction to the structures and functions of business institutions and their interrelationships ! To enable students to apply oral and written communication skills to business activities and to develop necessary vocabulary for further progress in the business world ! To enable the students to develop the numeracy, neatness and accuracy in respect of recording transactions, summarising these and interpreting the results ! To encourage students to apply business knowledge and skills to the commercial aspects of their own lives and that of their households. The syllabus also states that students will be encouraged to develop attitudes which include ! a positive attitude towards budgeting in the personal, business and national context ! an awareness of the market forces at work in society and a discriminating attitude in dealing with them 18
  19. 19. Office of the Financial Regulator ! confidence when dealing orally or in writing with financial institutions ! appreciation of the importance of acquiring basic economic literacy in order to make informed political choices 19
  20. 20. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Business Studies and Personal Finance Education Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Section One: The Business of Living Ability to calculate income and interpret a Income wage slip Ability to analyse household accounts Expenditure Ability to file and record income and expenditure Appreciation of the need to set priorities in expenditure Ability to plan personal/household budget Ability to critically analyse personal/household The budget spending Ability to exercise rights and responsibilities as Consumer Education a consumer Ability to make an oral or written complaint Financial Services for the Consumer Ability to operate a bank account o Money and banking Ability to calculate and compare the cost of o Borrowing credit Ability to recognise the rights of the borrower o Insurance Appreciation of the need for adequate insurance Awareness of different kinds of insurance Ability to calculate a premium and complete a proposal or claim form Section Two: Economic Awareness Economic literacy (in explaining terms such as The National Business economics, inflation, growth, deficit/surplus, etc.) Services to business (Higher Level students only) Ability to calculate the cost of a loan o Finance Ability to present a loan application (oral and written) o Commercial banks Ability to compare the costs of finance o Insurance Ability to critically read insurance requirements At work Awareness of the rights and responsibilities of o People at work an employee o Being an employer Capacity to read a pay slip: wages, rates, commision, overtime, statutory deductions 20
  21. 21. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Personal Finance Education Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in junior cycle education endeavors to support the personal development, health and well-being of young people and help them create and maintain supportive relationships. While the content and emphasis of SPHE does not directly relate to Personal Finance Education some of the aims of SPHE fit well with the aims of Personal Finance Education. The aims of SPHE are to ! enable students to develop skills for self-fulfilment and living in communities ! to promote self-esteem and self-confidence ! to enable students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making ! to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion ! to promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. The aims highlighted above are fundamental to Personal Finance Education. Frequently, adults lack the confidence to communicate with financial institutions and to question authority in relation to their financial affairs. Likewise, they can often find themselves making decisions without fully understanding or considering the consequences. Hence it is critically important that students’ confidence is built up and their skills for responsible decisions making are developed. The curriculum for SPHE in the junior cycle is presented in ten modules, each of which appears in each year of the three year cycle. The ten modules are set out below and those most relevant to Personal Finance Education are highlighted. Belonging and integrating Relationship and sexuality Self-management: a sense of purpose Emotional health Communication skills Influences and decisions Physical health Substance use Friendship Personal safety 21
  22. 22. Office of the Financial Regulator Under ‘Communication Skills’ the students learn how to listen, how to express themselves with confidence and how to recognise assertive, aggressive and passive communication. They practice skills of assertive comunication in different situations, including, dealing with people in authority. For example, students might role-play how they would communicate assertively when bringing back faulty goods to a shop. Under ‘Influences and Decisions’ the students examine how they make decisions, what is involved in the decision-making process and possible influences on their decision- making. This provides opportunities to explore a range of different decision-making scenarios, including how students choose to spend their time and money. SPHE can also contribute to the development of attitudes and values which are relevant to Personal Finance Education. In particular, through fostering greater self- awareness of what influences our actions, an appreciation of the consequences of our actions, and a greater sense of personal responsibiity and personal effectiveness in making decisions. 22
  23. 23. Office of the Financial Regulator Junior Certificate Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) and Personal Finance Education CSPE aims to help young people understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and the workings and nature of democracy. While most of the content of CSPE would not relate directly to Personal Finance Education there is some (although limited) scope for exploring areas of Personal Finance Education within the CSPE class, particularly as they relate to two of the key concepts of CSPE – Rights and Responsibillities and the Law. For example, students might investigate the rights and responsibilities of young people as workers in Ireland and how these rights are protected by Law. They might also learn about their rights as consumers. It is also noteworthy that one of the aims of the syllabus is to encourage and develop the practical skills which enable pupils to engage in active, participatory social interaction, and to adopt responsible roles as individual, family member, citizen, worker, consumer, and member of various communities within a democratic society. This aim highlights the importance of developing students’ practical skills and some of the skills that are fostered through CSPE are important skills for helping students to manage their finances now and in the future. Like SPHE, the CSPE syllabus emphasises the skill of critical thinking and the ability to see, decide, judge and act. It also states that the course will develop students’ personal and social confidence to enable them to take on the responsibilities of citizenship. The CSPE course is based on Seven core concepts Four units of study • Democracy Unit 1 - The Individual and Citizenship • Law Unit 2 - The Community • Human rights and responsibilities Unit 3 - The State - Ireland • Human dignity Unit 4 - Ireland and the world • Interdependence • Development • Stewardship 23
  24. 24. Office of the Financial Regulator Part 2 Leaving Certificate 24
  25. 25. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Home Economics and Personal Finance Education The Home Economics syllabus provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes ‘that will enable students to take control of their own lives at present and in the future, whether that be in the home, in further education, in the world of work, or in other life situations’ (Syllabus p.2). The syllabus goes on to state that it is intended that the learning experiences in Home Economics will develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism. Many of the aims of Leaving Certificate Home Economics correspond with the aims of Personal Finance Education. Amongst the aims of the syllabus are to • encourage students to develop and apply the management skills necessary for the effective organisation and management of available resources to satisfy personal and family needs in a continuously changing economic, social and technological climate • nurture and develop a spirit of enterprise, inventiveness, aesthetic awareness and creativity • encourage students to become discerning consumers, able to seek out and evaluate information and weigh evidence as a basis for making sound judgements and choices • develop personal qualities: perseverance, self-confidence, cooperativenes, team spirit, adaptability and flexibility. The syllabus also sets out a range of objectives relating to knowledge, understanding, skills, competence and attitudes/values. Many of these are compatible with the objectives of financial literacy. For example • knowledge of managerial processes related to the individual, home or family • understanding of the social and economic dimensions of home economics • skills of researching, studying, analysing, synthesising and interpreting material as a basis for expressing and communicating viewpoints in planning and 25
  26. 26. Office of the Financial Regulator evaluating alternatives and making judgements and decisions through problem- solving • competence in arriving at conclusions or solutions to tasks or problems in a planned, systematic way • competence in making and evaluating decisions based on the consideration of all available information • appreciation that the use of effective managerial processes affects the quality of life • appreciation of the role of the consumer in society and the importance of being discerning consumers, able to seek out and evaluate information and to weigh evidence as a basis for making judgements and choices The syllabus is based on three core areas of study that are studied by all students and one elective area, from a choice of three. Core Electives • Food studies • Home design and management • Resource management and • Textiles, fashion and design consumer studies • Social studies5 • Social studies The area of the syllabus that provides the richest opportunities for promoting personal finance education is the core area Resource management and consumer studies which accounts for 25% of the overall marks. In the pages that follow, other, less significant, opportunities are also identified within the elective areas of study – Home design and management and Social studies. 5 The Social Studies core module deals with the family which the elective module in Social Studies addresses wider social issues including Education, Work, Leisure, Unemployment and Poverty. 26
  27. 27. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Home Economics and Personal Finance Education Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education 2.1 Family resource management 2.13. Management of household financial resources The household as a financial unit within the economy Appreciation of the importance of financial Household income with regard to social factors: age, decisions on oneself and others sex, social class, culture Wages, salaries, pensions, social welfare allowances Ablity to budget based on different forms and and benefits as actual or potential sources of amounts of household income household income Household expenditure: • Patterns of household expenditure relative to Ability to analyse household expenditure varying levels of household income • Essential and discretionary expenditure patterns Planning of personal and family budgets to ensure Ability to manage personal and family finances effective management of financial resources, effectively including credit Housing finance: factors determining requirements, Ability to research, interpret and evaluate different sources and conditions attaching, mortagage methods of credit protection Methods of payment (cash or credit) for household Ability to to research, interpret and evaluate goods and services, to include: criteria for selection, different methods of payment availability A brief outline of the protection provided to the Appreciation of how the consumer is protected by consumer by current legislation, to include: legislation • Hire Purchase Act (1946, 1960) • Consumer Credit Act (1995) Methods of saving Ability to source and evaluate financial information from a range of sources and make informed Insurance, to include: pay-related social insurance, judgements health insurance, household insurance, life assurance Confidence in undertaking financial decisions 2.2 Consumer studies 2.2.1 Consumer choices Factors that affect consumers’ decision-making, with specific reference to varying household income, Awareness of the factors that influence consumer merchandising and advertising, packaging and decision making labeling The purchasing process, to include: Awareness of the importance of being discerning classification of retail outlets,retail psychology, and critically aware consumers shopping patterns, consumer research 27
  28. 28. Office of the Financial Regulator 2.2.2 Consumer responsibility Responsibility of the consumer in informed decision- Confidence in one’s ability to act as an informed making, with regard to: and responsible consumer • consumer information and rights 2.2.3 Consumer protection The rights of the consumer as defined by current Awareness of one’s rights and responsibilities as a legislation, to include: consumer • Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act (1980) • Consumer Information Act (1978) Ability to exercise one’s rights as a consumer Voluntary and statutory bodies concerned with consumer protection Procedures to be followed when a problem occurs Ability to underake appropriate action when with a product or service, to include the function and problems occur with a product or service operation of the small claims procedure Electives 4. Home design and management 4.1 Housing 4.1.2 Housing provision An evaluation of housing provision in Ireland today, to include: ! distribution of housing Ability to weigh up the advantages and (i.e. rented or owner-occupied, private or disadvantages of different accomodation types social housing, urban or rural distribution) (including cost and value for money) ! quality of accommodation ! comparative costs of buying and renting Ability to compare the costs of buying and renting ! adequacy of housing provision to meet accomodation the variations in housing requirements 4.4 The energy efficient home Identification of energy supplies to the home, to Ability to assess potential energy inefficiencies in include the sustainability of these energy sources the home and identify strategies to improve efficiency with a view to improving household Identification of potential inefficiencies in the budgeting home Strategies to improve energy efficiency and Family resource management skills reduce emissions 6. Social studies 6.7 Statutory and community responses to creatiing employment and eliminating poverty Statutory responses, to include: Ability to access financial information from a range • social welfare assistance and benefits, of sources initiatives encouraging foreign investment Ability to evaluate different schemes designed to • schemes to reduce expenditure for reduce expenditure for low-income families low-income families 28
  29. 29. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Mathematics and Personal Finance Education Leaving Certificate Mathematics is provided at three levels: Foundation, Ordinary and Higher, with separate syllabuses for each level. Opportunities for promoting Personal Finance Education are limited under the present syllabus. However, many of the skills developed in the Maths class foster the kinds of skills needed for financial literacy, such as skills in analysing, interpreting and presenting mathematical information and in logical reasoning, critical thinking and problem-solving. Content Subject content is presented at Ordinary level and Higher level under the headings: (Those relevant to Personal Finance Education are highlighted) • Arithmetic (OL only) • Algebra • Geometry • Trigonometry • Sequences and Series • Functions and Calculus • Discrete Mathematics and Statistics Options (HL) • Further Calculus and Series • Further Probability and Statistics • Groups • Further geometry Options (OL) • Further Geometry • Plane Vectors • Further Sequences and Series • Linear Programming 29
  30. 30. Office of the Financial Regulator At Foundation level, subject content is presented under the following headings: • Number systems • Arithmetic • Areas and volumes • Algebra • Statistics and probability • Trigonometry • Functions and graphs • Geometry Leaving Certificate Mathematics (Ordinary Level) and Personal Finance Education (current syllabus links) Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Arithmetic ! The operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division applied to Skills of numeracy practical problems involving counting and measurement (including money) Skills of critical thinking, logical reasoning and ! Averages problem solving ! Rates ! Percentages Ability to apply Maths to everyday financial ! Money transactions, including compound transactions interest ! Taxation Discrete Mathematics and Statistics ! Fundamental Principle of Counting Ability to interpret financial data using graphs and ! Statistics: reading graphs statistics 30
  31. 31. Office of the Financial Regulator The new syllabus for Leaving Certificate Mathematics As outlined previously (see p.15) Project Maths is currently developing and testing a new syllabus for both Junior and Leaving Certificate Mathematics which will place a much greater emphasis on the practical application of maths to students everyday lives. This will greatly enhance the opportunities for Personal Finance Education within the teaching of maths. When completed the revised maths syllabus will have five strand headings: 1. statistics and probability 2. geometry and trigonometry 3. number 4. algebra 5. functions The aim of senior cycle maths is to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for continuing their education and for life and work. In keeping with the changes being implemented in junior cycle maths, it is intended that senior cycle maths will provide students with confidence and competence in using mathematics to anaylse information and solve everyday problems. ‘While particular emphasis is placed in mathematics on the development and use of information processing, logical thinking and problem solving skills, the new approach being adopted in the teaching and learning of mathematics wil also give prominence to students being able to develop their skills in communicating and working with others.’ (Leaving Certificate Mathematics, Syllabus Strands, Draft June 2008) 31
  32. 32. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Accounting and Personal Finance Education Accountancy is concerned with the presentation, recording and analysis of financial information for the purpose of making economic decisions. Amongst the aims of the syllabus are: ! To create an awareness of the business environment dimension of our lives and to provide each student with knowledge, understanding and skills leading to personal competence and responsible participation in this changing environment ! To provide an area of study that will encourage initiative and develop student self-reliance, mental organisaiton, clear and logical thinking, mental gility, critical skills, planning habits and methods of investigation and processess whereby accuracy can be ensured The syllabus is designed to help develop in students a range of skills and attitudes compatible with Personal Finance Education including: ! problem-solving and computational skills and an awareness and recognition of the consequences of error ! skills in the use of figures in business communications, in analysis and in decision-making ! critical thinking, logical organisation and orderly presentation skills ! an ability to look at issues in their entirety, to acquire appropriate problem- solving skills and to make sound judgements ! a confidence in communicating with financial institutions The study of Accounting exposes students to aspects of business and enterprise which can set them towards a career in accounting or business. It can also provide students with important skills for managing their personal finances in their everyday lives and for their involvement in various clubs and societies. A review of the Leaving Certificate Accounting syllabus has taken place and a revised syllabus has been completed which has been issued by the NCCA to the Department of Education and Science and is awaiting implementation in schools. 32
  33. 33. Office of the Financial Regulator The Leaving Certificate Accounting course is divided into eleven main sections: 1. The Conceptual framework of 6. Specialised Accounts Accounting 7. Incomplete Records 2. The Regulatory Framework of Accounting (Higher Level only) 8. Cash Flow Statements 9. Analysis and Interpretation 3. Accounting Records of Financial Statements 4. Sole Traders 10. Management Accounting 5. Company Accounting 11. Information Technology and Computer Applications in Accounting Leaving Certificate Accounting and Personal Finance Education Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education 1.The Conceptual Framework of Accounting An understanding of fundamental accounting concepts 3. Accounting Records ! Double-entry book-keeping (including Ability to record financial data statutory deductions, VAT, PAYE and PRSI, Ability to compare a bank statement and a bank etc.) account ! Bank reconciliation statement Ability to deal with errors made by bank and by ! Control Accounts business ! Suspense Accounts Ability to calculate net profit, taking losses into account 6. Specialised Accounts ! Club Accounts (the role of the club Ability to set up a simple system for keeping a Treasurer, purpose of record-keeping in a Club’s accounts and to prepare a balance sheet club, receipts and payment account, income and expenditure account, balance sheet) 11. Information Technology and Computer Ability to use computer spreadsheets to present Applications in Accounting financial data 33
  34. 34. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Business and Personal Finance Education This is a practical and vocationally-oriented course that introduces students to the world of business. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of enterprise activity and to develop a positive and ethical attitude towards it. The tasks and functions of people in business activity is highlighted. It emphasises the importance of good management practice and seeks ‘to enable students to make informed business decisions’. A further objective of the syllabus is ‘to develop student’s literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and communication skills and to develop an attention to detail in the presentation of information.’ While the Junior Certificate Business Studies syllabus is balanced beteen the business education needed for an individual to manage his/her everyday finances and business education in the commerical context, the Leaving Certificate business syllabus is almost exclusively concerned with the latter. Hence, the links with Personal Finance Education are very limited. Some links are possible within Unit 4 under the topic of Household and business management. This Unit invites students to explore the difference between managing a household and managing a business. Topics dealt with include basic cashflow, cost of finance, different types of bank accounts, applying for a loan, completion of relevant forms, insurance, and taxation computations. Unit 1: Introduction to people in business Unit 5: Business in action • People in Business • Identifying Opportunities • Conflicting interests • Marketing • Getting started Unit 2: Enterprise • Expansion • Introduction and definition of enterprise Unit 6: Domestic environment • Entrepreneurs and enterprise skills • Categories of industry • Types of business organisation Unit 3: Managing 1 • Community development • Managers and management skills • Government and business • Management activities • Social responsibilities of business Unit 4: Managing 2 Unit 7: International environment • Household and business • Introduction to the international manager trading environment • Human resource management • International business • The changing role of management ! Monitoring the business 34
  35. 35. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Economics and Personal Finance Education Economics is a way of thinking about how people make decisions and interact with each other. It explains how we get out incomes, how we use them, the supply of resources and the production and exchange of goods and services. As such, Economics focuses on "the ordinary business of life’’. Decisions relating to economcis have social consequences, intended and unintended, which are also analysed in Economics. Most of the syllabus content deals with the role of markets and governments rather than individuals and therefore does not directly relate to Personal Finance Education. However, students who study this subject will gain a high degree of financial literacy and many skills which will help them in managing their personal finances. Of particular relevance are the skills of investigation, analysis, clear and logical thinking, communication and confidence in presenting informed views on economic matters. A revised syllabus view of the Leaving Certificate Economics syllabus has taken place and a revised syllabus has been completed and awaits implementation. The introduction of the revised syllabus states: It is intended that this syllabus will be relevant to the lives of students and inspire in them an interest and excitement about economic issues. It should enable them as citizens to understand the economic issues that affect their lives and to offer informed comment on these issues. The units of study in the current syllabus that link with Personal Finance Education are outlined below: • Demand and supply • Price and output • Money and banking 35
  36. 36. Office of the Financial Regulator Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) and Personal Finance Education The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) was introduced in 1994. It is designed to enhance the vocational dimension of the Leaving Certificate (Established). This two-year programme combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate (Established) with a focus on self-directed learning, enterprise, and work experience. Aims and principles The primary goal of the LCVP is to prepare young people for adult life by ensuring that they are educated in the broadest sense, with an ability to cope and thrive in an environment of rapid change. Participants in the programme are encouraged to develop skills and competencies fundamental to both academic and vocational success. Many of these skills and qualities are equally relevant for Personal Finance Education. Throughout the programme students are encouraged to • be innovative and enterprising • take responsibility for their own learning • adapt to changing circumstances • evaluate data and devise solutions to problems • communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively • work with others as part of a team • investigate and plan career options • use information and communications technologies • investigate local business and community enterprises • learn from experience. Programme structure LCVP is a two year programme structured around two elements: • Five Leaving Certificate subjects selected from Vocational Subject Groupings • Two additional courses of study, known as the Link Modules. These are: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education. The Link Modules are explored in detail in the following pages and the opportunities they present for Personal Finance Education are explored. 36
  37. 37. Office of the Financial Regulator Link Module 1 – Preparation for the World of Work This Module is designed to develop students’ general understanding of the world of work and to provide them with the knowledge and skills to seek employment. In this Link Module students research and investigate local employment opportunities; find out current legislation relating to the employment of young workers; develop job seeking skills such as letter writing, CV presentation and interview techniques; gain valuable practical experience of the world of work; and interview and work shadow a person in a career area that interests them. This Module comprises four Units 1. Introduction to Working Life 2. Job seeking Skills 3. Career Investigation 4. Work Placement While this Link Module does not explicitly correspond with the content associated with Personal Finance Education it does present valuable opportunities for the development of certain skills necessary for managing one’s personal finances. For example, students learn how to research information from a variety of sources and integrate it into a final report, they learn how to set goals and reflect on and evaluate their performance, and they learn how to complete application forms. These skills can transfer very easily from the world of work to managing one’s financial life. In addition, the active learning methodologies used in class also help to develop students communication skills and self-confidence when dealing with unfamilar or difficult situations. For example, role-playing a dispute in the workplace as part of this Module could also help students develop the necessary skills for asserting themselves in a consumer dispute or when negotiating a financial agreement. 37
  38. 38. Office of the Financial Regulator Link Module 2 – Enterprise Education The Enterprise Education Link Module is designed to give studetns the opportunity to meet enterprising people and investigate business and community enterprises. As part of the Module students become involved in organising visits to local business and community enterprises; meet and interview enterprising people on-site and in the classroom; and set up their own business projects. As with the other Link Module, students plan and undertake interesting activities that build self-confidence, creativity and initiative, and develop organisational, decision-making and communication skills. This Module comprises four Units 1. Enterprise Skills 2. Local Business Enterprises 3. Local Voluntary Organisations/Community Enterprises 4. An Enterprise Activity Like Link Module 1, much of the content in Link Module 2 does not explicitly correspond with the content of Personal Finance Education. However, it too provides many experiences that help students develop the skills and attitudes necessary for managing one’s personal finances. For example, students learn how to compare and contrast information from different sources, how to carry out a SWOT analysis, how to plan the steps involved in setting up a small school-based enterprise activity and how to take responsibility for managing this enterprise activity (including the financial flows). They also gain experience in risk assessment, critical thinking and problem solving as well as communication and social skills – all of which are useful when managing one’s personal finances in later life. 38
  39. 39. Office of the Financial Regulator The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and Personal Finance Education The Leaving Certificate Applied, introduced in 1995, is a self-contained Leaving Certificate programme. The programme is pre-vocational by nature and is designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to higher education or for those whose needs, aptitudes and learning styles are not fully catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes. Participants in the Leaving Certificate Applied are mainly engaged in work and study of an active, practical and student-centred nature. Aims and principles The main aim of the Leaving Certificate Applied is to prepare participants for transition from the world of the school/centre to that of adult and working life. The programme • has as a primary objective the development of the participants’ literacy and numeracy skills • places a premium on the personal and social development of participants • provides opportunities to develop the participants’ processes of self-evaluation and reflection • encourages strong community links to complement the school or centre as a learning site • promotes the use of a broad range of teaching methodologies and student- centred learning • provides access to further education and training. Elements of the programme The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year programme made up of a range of courses that are structured round three elements: • Vocational Preparation • Vocational Education • General Education Courses are designed on a modular basis and are of thirty hours duration. Learners must take a total of 44 modules. They are also required to complete seven student tasks over the two years of the programme. The courses that provide most potential for developing the content, skills and attitudes relevant to Personal Finance Education are highlighted in red the folllowing grid. 39
  40. 40. Office of the Financial Regulator VOCATIONAL PREPARATION Course No. of Modules Vocational preparation and guidance 8 English and Communication 4 VOCATIONAL EDUCATION Course No. of Modules Vocational Specialisms (2 full courses) 8 (4x2) Mathematical Applications 4 Introduction to Information and Communication Technology 2 GENERAL EDUCATION Course No. of Modules Social Education 6 Languages: 2 Irish 2 Modern European Language or Sign Language Arts Education (Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts) 2 Leisure and Recreation (including Physical Education) 2 Course No. of Modules Elective modules 4 Total 44 Due to the strong emphasis placed on cross-curricular learning with LCA there is a considerable amount of content overlap between different LCA courses. Therefore students will encounter areas of content that are relevant to Personal Finance Education with different teachers and in different contexts throughout the two year programme. This presents the opportunity to reinforce different topics and skills. The Leaving Certificate Applied, in common with other senior cycle programmes, is currently the subject of a major review by the NCCA. 40
  41. 41. Office of the Financial Regulator L.C.A. Mathematical Applications Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Module One: Mathematics for Living Unit 4: Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Ratio ! Calculating simple fractions and decimals (related to money, time, etc) Ability to calculate and solve mathematical ! Interpret and solve problems involving % problems related to everyday life such as those involved in selling price, Ability to analyse bills, payslips, invoices, cost price and profit catalogues, etc) Unit 5: House and Home Mathematics ! Compare prices of similar goods and identify better value Ability to critically compare value for money on ! Compile a simple household budget and personal/household goods analyse figures ! Read household metres and make Ability to prepare a household budget calculations ! Perform calculations related to Ability to calculate the daily cost of various household bills household expenses – telephone, gas, ESB. Unit 6: Current Affairs ! Relate mathematical applications to Appreciation of the use of mathematics in their everyday occurances, elections, budgets, lives and the need for financial literacy in order taxation, etc. to understand and deal with everyday events. Module Two: Enterprise Mathematics Unit 1: Wages and Salaries ! Calculate gross wages and salaries Ability to calculate pay ! Calculate basic tax free allowances, Ability to read pay slips, TFA certificates, P60, taxable incomes, deducations and take P45, etc. home pay Unit 2: Business Transactions ! Make out invoices adding on VAT, Ability to analyse invoices and bills carriage or other charges Ability to analyse and compare the profit on ! Calculate the cost price and selling price different customer goods to a customer when the % mark up is known Unit 3: Keeping Records ! Analyse a bank statement relative to cheque book entries and reconcile the Ability to engage in practical banking activities two and keep records of income and expenditure ! Make out a lodgement form for monies ! Keep simple records of real or imaginary income and expenditure ! Make out cheques, withdrawal forms, direct debit forms, bank draft applications, etc. Unit 4: Foreign Business Transactions ! Use rates of exchange to convert Ability to calculate exchange rates when between currencies and calculate changing currencies additional charges 41
  42. 42. Office of the Financial Regulator Unit 6: Presentation and Analysis ! Draw graphs and bar charts to show Ability to use and interpret spreadsheets using product sales electronic software Module 3: Mathematics for Leisure & Civic Affairs Unit 3: Leisure Time Mathematics ! Analyse prices from a variety of Budgeting and planning skills sources and budget for events ! Estimate bills expected in social situations ! Plan a full cost analysis for a group social event Unit 4: Holiday and Travel Mathematics ! Interpret information from a variety of Ability to sources information from a variety of sources including holiday brochures, etc., places and compare costs and value for Analyse and compare costs money ! Convert various currencies Ability to calculate exchange rates when ! Estimate cost of goods and services in changing currencies foreign currencies and compare with Ability to compare prices at home and away local cost Ability to plan and prepare a budget for a trip ! Prepare an actual budget for a foreign abroad trip or holiday Module 4: Mathematics for Working Life Unit 1: Wages and Salaries ! Identify relevant allowances from a list Ability to read and interpret information from and calculate total tax free allowance and the Revenue Commissioners taxable pay ! Calculate PRSI given the appropriate Ability to calculate take home pay rate or table ! Distinguish between gross amount for PRSI deductions and taxable amount for PAYE ! Make up wages when given all the relevant information ! Calculate yearly amounts for total wages, total tax and other deductions Unit 3: Money Matter in the World of Work Ability to research and analyse the cost of a ! Apply the mathematics of previous loan using different approaches – HP, lease, modules to the world of work long term loan, overdraft, etc. ! Prepare a quotation for a job ! Calculate compound interest Ability to read charts and tables from financial ! Analyse the relative merits or otherwise institutions showing repayments at compound of hire purchase, overdraft or leasing in interest rates the purchase of an expensive piece of equipment Unit 4: Government Budget ! Define personal income and calculate Ability to discuss and debate the impact of basic allowances government budgetary decisions on everyday ! Analyse tax bands and calculate taxable life pay ! Calculate PAYE for given incomes in different tax bands, incorporating table allowances 42
  43. 43. Office of the Financial Regulator L.C.A. Vocational Preparation and Guidance Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Module 2: Job Search ! Investigating the cost of seeking a job Ability to calculate the cost of job seeking in both time and monetary value ! Preparing for a mock job interview Ability to communicate with confidence Ability to calculate different types of ! Basic understanding of the difference deductions from gross pay between gross pay and take home pay Module 5: Enterprise ! Work out a trial budget for the enterprise, Planning and budgeting skills including costs for equipment, materials, staff and advertising ! Raise the finance through shares, Risk management and communication skills sponsors, loans ! Discuss the organisation of finances - Ability to compare the benefits of doing Bank Account, Credit Union, an Post business with different financial organisations ! Discuss consumer guidelines in relation Awareness of the rights of consumers to the product/service ! Participate in the liquidation of the Budgeting skills company by Negotiation skills ! paying outstanding debts, agreeing the Decision-making skills distribution of profit, closing down any Organisational skills existing accounts, etc. Module 7: Work and Living Assertive communication and negotiation skills ! Role-play sample conflict situations at work 43
  44. 44. Office of the Financial Regulator L.C.A. English and Communications Amongst the aims of English and Communications is ‘to equip students to meet the literacy demands of everyday life, and to empower students to communicate effectively’. The course seeks to develop oral and written communication skills within a variety of real life communication contexts. It also seeks to develop students’ self confidence, creativity, initiative and personal resourcefulness. Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Module 1: Communications & the Working World This module includes oral communication and Ability to communicate effectively and with listening skills, telephone techniques, letter confidence writing and research and reporting skills. In the course of studying this module students will role play a range of daily encounters, including talking to people in authority, and different customer scenarios. They will also learn how to lay out and present a business letter using IT, and how to write a letter of complaint, which might be a consumer complaint. Module 2: Communications and Enterprise This module builds students’ communication Appreciation of the importance of good skills in relation to conducting business. In the communication and interpersonal skills in course of studying this module they will practice conducting business (including business writing letters, reports, invoices, cheques, transactions) receipts, etc. They will gain practice in reading a bank statement and filling in lodgement and withdrawal slips. They will prepare job Assertive communication and negotiation skills applications and C.V.s and practice interview techniques. Module 3: The Communications Media This module aims to develop critical and visual literacy when dealing with the media as ‘without this we can become vulnerable to the power of Awareness of the power of the media in the media to manipulate’. influencing how we spend money (The ability to critically evaluate different advertisements is of relvance to Personal Finance Education as it helps students avoid being overwhelmed by glossy advertising of financial products. ) 44
  45. 45. Office of the Financial Regulator L.C.A. Social Education The Social Education course aims to enable students to enhance their self esteem, develop self-confidence and social skills and their ability to make postive choices in their lives. The course comprises six modules and strongest links with Personal Finance Education can be found in Module 6 Taking Charge. However many of the other modules also deal with content (e.g. assertive communication, the influence of the media, the national budget) and skills relevant to Personal Finance Education. Throughout the Social Education Course there is a strong emphasis on the development of students’ communication skills, decision-making skills, and their sense of personal effectiveness– all of which are important for managing one’s life and finances. Content Links Skills compatable with Personal Financial Education Module 6 – Taking Charge Unit 1: A place of my own ! Research the accomodation options available in the local area and report on Skills of critical thinking the cost and conditions which apply to Ability to weigh up different options based on each cost, value-for-money and other factors ! Interview a young person living away Appreciation of the cost of financial from home and report on the cost independence involved, etc. ! Unit 2: Making ends meet ! List the essential food items required for Planning and household budgeting skills a balanced diet and calculate the cost per week Appreciation of the need for financial ! Investigate other items apart from food management and skills in managing one’s which must be purchased when living personal finances independently and calculate cost per week Ability to discern between essential and ! List additional financial commitments that discretionary spending and between needs occur at irregular intervals and wants ! Investigate the financial systems available for helping people plan their expenditure ! Plan a comprehensive and realistic annual expenditure budget for a young person living away from home based on actual costs and current starting pay scales Unit 3: Account Options ! Identify the reasons for opening an account in a financial institution 45
  46. 46. Office of the Financial Regulator ! Investigate his/her local Credit Union and Awareness of the services of different financial report on findings institutions ! Complete the necessary forms for - joining a Credit Union Ability to conduct banking transactions - lodging money in the Credit Union - withdrawing money from the Credit Union Ability to make informed decisions about ! List the services provided by banking financial services institutions ! Complete the procedures for a range of banking transactions (e.g. opening an account, lodging and withdrawing money, changing currency, etc.) ! Investigate the financial service provided by the Post Office and the advantages of using the Post Office ! Investigate the financial service provided by Building Societies ! Explore the various options for an investment of 100 euro Unir 4: Saving and borrowing ! Explore the reasons for saving ! Investigate savings for a specific term ! Prepare a savings scheme taking into Appreciation of the need for financial planning account other financial commitments ! Investigate the possibility of taking out a loan ! Explain what is meant by a hire purchase agreement including the advantages and disadvantages of this scheme Unit 5: Buying my own home ! Investigate the lending agencies providing finance for house buyers ! Explore and report on options, procedures, and conditions attached to Ability to research information regarding house loans from bulding societies, purchasing a house banks, local authority, etc. ! Research the local house market for new Ability to evaluate different options and make and second hand houses informed and sound judgements ! Explain what is meant by bridging finance, mortgage tax relief and home improvement grants ! Describe the main steps and costs involved in buying a house, both new and second hand ! Unit 6: Understanding Insurance ! List the types of insurance available ! Explain the following terms – premium, insurance policy, insurance broker, Ability to explain and evaluate different certificate of insurance insurance products ! Outline one type of insurance transaction and explain what the transaction involves, the value of the cover, expected benefits, etc. 46
  47. 47. Office of the Financial Regulator Conclusions This mapping of the curriculum opportunities for Personal Finance Education within post primary education has revealed a wide range of opportunities for encountering Personal Finance Education within the subject areas reviewed in this study. Students can encounter the content of Personal Finance Education in a range of subjects and contexts. Topics related to managing personal money, staying informed and choosing products are comprehensively dealt with in both Junior Certificate Home Economics and Business Studies. The area of planning ahead for future needs and expenditure is not really addressed at junior cycle and it is unlikely that students of this age would see the relevance of this to their lives. At senior cycle, all the areas of content related to Personal Finance Education - managing personal money, planning ahead, staying informed and choosing products - are all dealt with in some detail in Leaving Certificate Home Economics and in Leaving Certificate Applied, Social Education and Mathematical Applications. Strong opportunities to promote financial literacy also exist within other LCA courses. However, the established Leaving Certificate does not provide strong potential for promoting Personal Finance Education, beyond Home Economics. This study also shows that even where the content of Personal Finance Education is not explicitly covered, some subjects foster important skills and attitudes that will help students manage their personal finances with confidence – for example, numeracy and problem-solving skills (Mathematics) personal management, decision making and communication skills (SPHE), and critical thinking and confidence in taking effective action (CSPE), to name but a few. The LCVP programme with its strong emphasis on goal-setting, problem-solving and confidence-building, also promotes many skills and attitudes that are very useful for managing one’s personal finances. The subjects that stand out as presenting the strongest links with Personal Finance Education are Home Economics (both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate), Business Studies (Junior Certificate) and Leaving Certificate Applied Social Education and Mathematical Applications. While approximately 35% of Junior Certificate students take Home Economics and 60% take Business Studies the numbers of students who access opportunities for Personal Finance Education drops significantly in senior cycle education (see table). 47
  48. 48. Office of the Financial Regulator The table below provides an overview of the number of students who were examined in June 2007 in subjects that include elements of Personal Finance Education. The subjects with the strongest opportunties are highlighted in red. Junior Certificate Total number of Students Mathematics 56,539 (almost 100% of J.C. students) Home Economics 20,080 (approx 35%) Business Studies 33,667 (approx 60%) Leaving Certificate Total number of Students Mathematics 49,000 (almost 100% of L.C. students) Home Economics 12,250 (approx 25%) Business 18,957 (approx 38%) Accounting 6,809 (approx 14%) Economics 4,444 (9%) LCVP 14,000 (approx 29%) Leaving Certificate Applied 3,056 (approx 6%) This study has also highlighted some emerging opportunities for strengthening Personal Finance Education within the revised syllabuses for both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Mathematics which are currently under development. The change in emphasis towards more practical applications of Maths will greatly improve students’ financial literacy skills and their ability to deal with financial data in their everyday lives. Looking forward it is also worth noting that the introduction of transition units (TUs) to Transition Year programmes presents a further opportunity for strengthening Personal Finance Education within the curriculum. Transition Units that are developed to the NCCA template and guidelines can be approved by the NCCA and made available to 6 schools nationwide. There is huge scope for devising TUs which address a variety of aspects of Personal Finance Education. 6 Sample transition units and Guidelines on developing TUs are available on the NCCA website (www.ncca.ie) under senior cycle developments. 48
  49. 49. Office of the Financial Regulator Finally, it is important to acknowledge that many subjects which did not appear in this study can also provide opportunities for Personal Finance Education. For example, a French teacher could ask students to role-play returning goods to a shop using the target language or an English teacher might set an essay on a topic that requires students to think critically about financial matters. In addition, there are many ways in which students can gain skills in managing money through their involvement in the extra-curricular life of the school – organising events, trips, fundraising, etc. 49

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