What do Australian kids really know about money? - Schools invited to join National Financial Literacy Assessment

18 July 2005

Time is running out for secondary schools across Australia to join the first national financial literacy assessment, which has been developed by Educational Assessment Australia (EAA) on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation.

The voluntary assessment will help determine whether young Australians have the financial skills needed to confidently manage everyday transactions such as buying goods, managing mobile phone costs, getting a credit card, or investing money.

David Murray, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank and Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, urged schools and students to get involved, "There has been a tremendous response to this initiative, with over 50,000 students in Years 9 and 10 already signed up, but there is room for more.

"Financial literacy is an essential life skill and this is a great opportunity for students to review their existing knowledge and for schools to integrate financial literacy into their teaching programs."

The Australian Financial Literacy Assessment – available free to all schools with students in Years 9 and 10, as a result of the Foundation’s support – will take place in schools on 18 August. The closing date for registration is Friday 22 July. It will be held annually, allowing improvements in students’ knowledge to be measured.

Research conducted by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation has found that young people with poor money management skills may suffer from a greater rate of unemployment and are more likely to struggle with paying bills.

Associate Professor Peter Knapp, Director of Educational Assessment Australia, said: "The Assessment is designed to engage students with practical, real-life questions and assess their knowledge of personal finance issues, money management and their personal responsibility in making financial decisions.

"The results of this assessment will assist schools, teachers, parents and students in improving financial literacy education."

The Assessment is part of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s commitment to improving financial literacy education in Australia. The Foundation recently launched a free online curriculum resource to help schools teach Years 7 to 10 about financial literacy. It also offers financial literacy teaching grants to secondary schools.

For more information about registering for the Assessment, call 02 8344 1010 or visit www.commbank.com.au/foundation



The Commonwealth Bank Foundation seeks to encourage developments in education, in particular the financial literacy skills of young Australians and aims to create awareness, skill and understanding of the benefits of a more financially literate community.

The Foundation builds on the Bank’s community activities and contributions of more than 70 years in education and financial literacy. These include the Bank’s Student Banking program introduced in 1931 to teach young people the basic skills of money management and encouraging them to save.

The Foundation commissioned research in 2004 to measure the impact of poor financial literacy on Australia. The research was conducted by the Commonwealth Bank’s Quantitative Research Division, in partnership with Eureka Strategic Research and the Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. The findings were released in a report, Improving financial literacy in Australia: benefits for the individual and the nation, in February 2005. The report can be downloaded from the Foundation website: www.commbank.com.au/foundation

Educational Assessment Australia (EAA) is part of the University of New South Wales. EAA is a prime provider of quality educational measurement and assessment services in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. EAA will provide its expertise in all areas of the Assessment including content, design, trial, launch, delivery and reporting.