Supporting the teaching of economics is central to our aim of building greater understanding of the Bank and its policies and helping people to make better informed decisions.
To that end, we have spoken to a range of stakeholders, including teachers, education resources providers, charities and teaching associations. Our conversations have highlighted the widespread concern that young people are not being equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to understand the economy and the impact it will have on their lives and decisions.
We want to help create a foundation for economics in schools by putting our own resources and expertise to good use. As a first step, we have produced new educational materials aimed at 11 to 16 year olds. We plan to add to these resources to support the teaching of other age groups.
The educational materials that we have developed are intended to be used as part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum (and equivalents in the devolved nations). However, while PSHE may be the natural home for a general introduction to economics, there is no specific requirement for it to be covered. That effectively renders teaching of the subject optional.
Therefore, in response to the government’s consultation on PSHE, we have written to the Department of Education to call for economics to be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
We hope the government’s consultation will consider the importance of PSHE education to young people’s lives and begin – with the help of the multiple organisations who have declared their interest – to take practical steps towards putting it on firmer foundations.