Cryptocurrencies: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th November 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of teaching children about the risks of (a) cryptocurrency speculation and (b) scams involving cryptocurrencies in the context of the history of (i) scams involving novel financial products and (ii) financial bubbles.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. Pupils receive financial education through the national curriculum for mathematics and citizenship which, for secondary school-aged pupils, includes compulsory content covering the functions and uses of money, financial products and services, and the need to understand financial risk.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver the curriculum so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils. The Money and Pensions Service published financial education guidance for primary and secondary schools in England during Talk Money Week, 8-12 November 2021, an annual event that encourages people of all ages to talk about money: https://maps.org.uk/2021/11/11/financial-education-guidance-for-primary-and-secondary-schools-in-england/. This guidance was developed in consultation with financial education experts and is designed to support school leaders and education decision makers to enhance the financial education currently delivered in their schools. The guidance includes links to quality assured resources for schools, including specific content and activities on cryptocurrencies and the knowledge and skills to equip pupils to protect their personal data, critically evaluate online content and identify scams.

There are also other opportunities across the national curriculum to teach pupils about cryptocurrencies. For example, the computing curriculum teaches the knowledge and skills that empower children and teachers to make well-informed choices about technology: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study. It covers the principles of e-safety at all key stages, with progression in the content to reflect the different and escalating risks that young people face.

The department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders, such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to support the teaching of financial education to children and young people including novel financial products. The government takes fraud very seriously. We continue to work closely with the industry to close down the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit and ensure members of the public have the information they need to spot a scam and stand up to fraudsters.

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