Bank of England launches new English lessons resource

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Press release

The Bank of England is today launching a new teaching resource for GCSE English students based on its best-selling economics book Can’t We Just Print More Money?

Every public secondary school in the UK receives the six-lesson resource which includes extracts, presentation slides and worksheets, plus a copy of the book.

Can’t we just print more money? was written by Bank economists Rupal Patel and Jack Meaning and offers an accessible introduction to economics around ten questions, including “Why are so many of my clothes made in Asia?” ‘Why isn’t Freddos 10p anymore?’ and ‘What is money?’. It was published by Cornerstone Press in May.

The lessons have been designed by Jo Heathcote, English consultant and former senior examiner for GCSE English Language. They use key excerpts from Can’t We Just Print More Money? as a basis for analytical, critical appraisal and writing tasks that also introduce and explore key economic ideas and concepts.

Jo, who is the author of a number of well-respected textbooks and study guides, said: “One of the challenges facing English teachers is having the time to find new excerpts and materials to work with at GCSE – particularly suitable non-fiction texts.

“It was a great pleasure to be able to use key excerpts from Can’t We Just Print More Money? to create imaginative course content to practice skills in inferential reading, analysis, different forms of writing, and valuable speaking and listening opportunities for the classroom that will work across all specifications.

Jack and Rupal said: “The book and resources are designed to open up economics to as many young people as possible, so that they have the opportunity to explore and understand the economic world around them. Key theories are explained using interesting and relevant examples from everyday life, which we hope will spark lots of class discussion.

The resource complements the Bank of England’s existing set of materials to support the delivery of financial and economic education, including:

  • “Money and Me” – 12-lesson resource that introduces elementary school students to how money and the economy work, created in partnership with Beano and Tes.
  • EconoME – 4-lesson resource designed to help 11-16 year olds better understand economics and provide them with the analytical skills needed to make informed decisions.

Research commissioned by the Bank shows that the majority of teachers identified the lack of time in the timetable as the main barrier to delivering a financial education program within their school.

Some 63% of respondents to a survey conducted by Teacher Tapp of 6,694 teachers on February 19, 2022 cited scheduling pressures, with the second most popular response being a lack of subject matter expertise (13%).

Andrew Hebden, Head of Outreach and Education at the Bank of England, said: “We recognize the time constraints and competing priorities facing teachers. We hope that in addition to helping to support the development of key skills aligned with the English curriculum, these lessons will encourage young people to think about how the economy works and their role within it.

In addition to its educational resources, the Bank also runs a free program of school lectures, led by Bank staff. The latest initiative is funded using the royalties the Bank received for the book.

The resource is being launched today to hundreds of education leaders at the North East Schools Summit in St James’s Park, Newcastle.

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