Managing possible conflicts of interest
In the United Kingdom, the Money Advice Service will deliver a voluntary “Code of Practice” for financial education providers in winter 2013/spring 2014. For the time being, it is up to individual schools and teachers to decide on the suitability of any resource or support programme. There are a number of professional support programmes available to teachers to help them feel confident and competent in delivering personal finance to their pupils, giving them confidence to select appropriate classroom resources.
In addition, the pfeg Quality Mark, a method of quality assurance, ensures teachers have access to a range of quality assured resources that have been independently assessed by educational and financial experts. These resources:
- • do not bear ads and do not market a particular business or product;
- • are accurate and up to date;
- • match curriculum requirements and have been carefully designed for the stated age range with learning aims and objectives;
- • are easily available, adaptable and low cost;
- • cover an appropriate range of financial topics and are linked to the financial literacy education framework;
- • have been developed in partnership with teachers and tested in schools.
It is also important for organisations leading national efforts in financial education, like MAS today or previously the FSA (and, in the devolved nations, the Scottish Centre for Financial Education, the Welsh Financial Education Unit, and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment in Northern Ireland) to maintain a dialogue with key industry players providing support or resources into schools. Through an ongoing dialogue the FSA was able to make the case that any resources the firms produce need to be educational and unbiased, ensuring firms do not see this as a marketing opportunity.