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17 Qld schools get financial ‘facts of life’

The QCoal Foundation’s support for a statewide program to introduce high school students to the financial ‘facts of life’ is gaining momentum.

Overwhelming support from 17 Queensland schools involved in a trial of financial capability program Ca$hED Up over the past 12 months has confirmed students want to know more about how to manage their finances from a young age.

The good news is there’s plenty of room for more high schools to get involved in 2020.

Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia said there are no barriers to schools rolling out the Ca$hED Up program from Term 1 next year.

“The Ca$hED Up program includes lesson plans that are ready to use and comes at no cost to schools,” Ms Bhatia said.

“As part of the program, teachers who deliver the program also receive a 30-minute induction.”

Ms Bhatia said the stand-out feature of the program was its delivery as a life skills subject, rather than an academic subject, with the program typically delivered through a school’s Life Skills or Pathways timetable.

“This means every student, not just students doing Accounting or Maths, have an opportunity to learn how to make smart financial choices and set themselves up for a secure future,” she said.

Research shows financial stress is a key factor in many areas of mental health, family violence and poverty. Younger people are also more likely to experience severe financial stress than older people.

Students who do the Ca$hED Up program learn how to budget, control spending, save and invest money and understand how interest rates, taxation, mortgages and superannuation will affect their lives.

All four modules include five lessons mapped to the Australian Curriculum and the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework.

Ms Bhatia said 100 per cent of teachers who have delivered Ca$hED Up would run the course again and recommend it to colleagues, which proves the content is relevant to teenagers and easy to deliver.

97 per cent of students who responded to a survey after completing the Ca$hED Up Program agreed it was important to learn about money and personal finances; 97 per cent wanted to know more about other financial topics; and 89 per cent felt more informed and confident about making financial decisions.

The Ca$hED Up trial is the result of a social venture partnership between the QCoal Foundation and Financial Basics Community Foundation. The FBCF is an Australian independent charity established to provide free financial literacy resources to educators and the community.

To register for the Ca$hED Up trial or find out more details email contact@qcoalfoundation.org.