Lessons in finance have just become compulsory in English schools alongside reading, writing and arithmetic. As Hayley Platt reports it's hoped eductating children about the dangers of debt will help prevent problems in the future.
A rap about the perils of debt isn't the way school assembly usually starts. But financial education hasn't been on the national curriculum before either. It's now compulsory for children between the ages of 11-16 in England to study money matters. Pupils at London's Mount Carmel College for girls will start by learning how to run their own school bank. Hannah Jones is from the charity MyBnk. SOUNDBITE: Hannah Jones, Education officer, MyBnk, saying (English): "I think it's going to change people's lives, knowing what debt is and how easy it is to get into debt and understanding what bad debt is and just knowing how to prevent yourself getting into certain situations." The move follows years of campaigning by charities and politicians. It's hoped it will help end the debt culture and ensure there's no repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Some schools already teach personal finance. But public accounting is now a must too, along with risk management, income and expenditure and the importance of saving. SOUNDBITE: 13 year-old Victoria, a pupil at Mount Carmel College for girls, London, saying (English): "Once I get money I'll just spend it." SOUNDBITE: 13 year-old, Kelsey Saavedra, a pupil at Mount Carmel College for girls, London, saying (English): "I don't really save a lot, I'm a spender, so if I see something that I like, I just say mum can I have it." That's exactly the habit the government and Mount Carnel's principle Nicole Haynes want to break. SOUNDBITE: Nicole Haynes, Principle of Mount Carmel College for girls, London, saying (English): "I wouldn't have had a credit card because I wouldn't have gone down the road of extortionate interest rates but also the generation today need to be mindful because the economy in itself fluctuates, not only in Europe but globally that they need to be very aware of what the banks are doing, what the interest rates are, inflation etc." Things have changed in Britain in recent years. It's harder for young people to own their own home and university education is no longer free. Starting work with debt is the norm for many graduates. If nothing else these lessons could make handling that a little easier.