Govt acts on damning school banking report
Published Monday, 26 April, 2021 at 11:30 AM
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
Queensland has responded to a damning independent report on school banking by ending the practice in the state’s schools.
Education Minister Grace Grace said Queensland students already received extensive financial literacy education and, as an Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Review of school banking programs found, school banking had questionable benefits.
“It’s a different digital world now to when school banking began more than 50 years ago,” she said.
“Our young people are growing up in a world where money can literally be at their fingertips with a wave of their watch or tap of their phone.
“Our schools are now giving them skills to help manage their money responsibly while being cybersafe and avoiding the potential pitfalls modern technology can bring.
“Students from Prep to Year 10 are taught the Australian Curriculum and teachers use the ‘MoneySmart’ resources to tailor lessons to suit different age groups — from counting money and saving up for a teddy bear’s socks to understanding the hidden costs of a mobile phone contract.
“This decision is in the best interests of our students.”
The ASIC report released last year found that school banking couldn’t be proven to improve savings behaviour and exposed young children to “sophisticated advertising and marketing tactics”.
It also found that banks used programs to acquire customers, but were not transparent enough about that.
The Victorian Government has already banned school banking programs and consumer organisation CHOICE called on all states and territories to follow suit.
Ms Grace said the Department of Education’s agreement with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) would not be renewed when its contract ends on 31 July 2021.
Bendigo Bank also operated school programs in Queensland, but withdrew from school banking prior to the release of the ASIC report.
Ms Grace said students could continue to hold their existing Commonwealth bank accounts in a private capacity.
For more information on consumer and financial literacy in Queensland state schools visit www.education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/consumer-financial-literacy.