ACARA unveils financial literacy resource for schools

by Robert Ballantyne09 Feb 2017

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is now supporting the teaching of consumer and financial literacy in schools.
 
Also included in the resource – developed in partnership with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) – will be Mathematics and Business, as well as Economics.
 
Teachers will be able to filter information and develop educational programs on issues such as budgeting, navigating the ever-changing consumer and financial landscape, consumer rights and responsibilities, and where to go to for assistance.
 
ACARA’s CEO, Robert Randall, said fostering consumer and financial capability in young people was “a strong investment in Australia’s social and economic prosperity”.
 
“A focus on teaching consumer and financial literacy can aid teachers in the delivery of content in the Australian Curriculum, and equip students with real-life skills to better manage consumer and financial situations as adults,” Randall said in a statement.
 
The resource has been developed with the aim of equipping young Australians to:
  • Be informed in consumer and financial matters;
  • Have the skills to apply to real-world consumer and financial situations;
  • Make effective decisions that have a positive impact on themselves, their families, the broader community and the environment, and
  • Develop enterprising behaviours.
Miles Larbey, ASIC’s senior executive leader of financial literacy, said consumer and financial literacy should be a part of every teacher's toolkit.
 
“Young people require opportunities to develop financial and enterprising capabilities that will let them successfully and confidently operate in a complex, globalised financial world,” Larbey said.
 
One of ACARA’s new Curriculum Connections, the online resource will enable teachers to filter material in the curriculum by year level, learning area, general capability and/or cross-curriculum priority.
 
A 2014 survey by Australia’s largest life insurer, TAL, found that just 4% of parents looked to schools to teach children how to be smart with money.
 
The following year, a program – called MoneySmarts – aimed at prep to Year 10 students – was rolled out across all three school sectors in QLD. Since then, it has provided resources for the state’s teachers to educate students about “responsible financial behaviour”.

Jason Knight, head of the Business department at King’s Christian College on the Gold Coast, said that “developing the financial and consumer literacy” of students had been a long-standing goal of his school.

“King’s Christian College has a long-term commitment to developing the financial and consumer literacy of our students in order to set them up to lead successful adult lives,” Knight told The Educator.

“By being a MoneySmart School we have access to a wide range of Australian Curriculum aligned units as well as indexed databases of various supplementary resources to incorporate into our teaching units.

“All in all, we cannot recommend highly enough to schools engaging with this program in order to set their students up to be successful adults.”

 

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