I’m All Right Jack: Councillor hashtag fail!
Nikki Whiteman, writing for the Which? blog, noted that her “own financial knowledge, even now, leaves a lot to be desired”.
“By the time I left college”, she continues, “I understood just enough to get a good student bank account … But my understanding of debt in general was woefully poor.”
Whiteman wrote these words in support of the e-petition posted by “money expert” Martin Lewis for financial education to be compulsory in schools.
He said: “It’s a national disgrace that in the 20 years since student loans launched we’ve educated our youth into debt, but never about debt.”
Back in November the petition had reached the requisite 100,000 signatories needed in order for parliament to debate it – it is demonstrably a real concern for schools and parents, and reflects many of our own financial uncertainties today.
Like the plan or not, this is obviously of major interest to the education secretary Michael Gove and Barclays, who will be offering large sums of money to academies and free schools (including free accounts) while expanding money management courses in schools.
The chief executive of Barclays retail and business banking, Antony Jenkins, said: “Barclays is supporting free schools and academies because we want to boost financial skills for young people.”
The commitment toward more financial education is shared by the education secretary, banks offering great sums towards it, finance experts, and enough people in this country to get 100,000 signatures on an e-petition.
Which is why I found it strange, talking to a Councillor yesterday who represents a shire county (will not name what one). I asked her whether anyone ever complained to her about debt or financial problems, and whether she felt children needed to be more financially literate. She responded:
in response to your questions, no, none of my constituents have contacted me about any financial issues; I would support financial education for children and young people, but I suspect you would find that the better schools already do this – certainly my children’s school does so
Oh, that’s fine then. Don’t know what those other people are worried about.
Shakespeare himself could not have invented better hubris.