STUDENTS in a North-East town are among thousands across the country set to benefit from a new financial education programme, a charity has revealed.

The Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg) announced a new partnership with information services company Experian, which it said will help it rapidly expand the scheme already running in some schools.

The charity, which has been among those campaigning for financial education to be placed on the national curriculum, said 20 more schools in some of the most financially disadvantaged areas will be transformed into centres of excellence in financial education.

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Middlesbrough, together with Hull, Manchester, London, Nottingham and Bristol are the areas taking part.

Schools will be targeted by Experian using its own bank of information about areas where people are more likely to have lower levels of financial education.

Those which take part in the three-year programme will be required to pass the information on to clusters of other schools in their area, making the project even more widespread.

Tracey Bleakley, pfeg chief executive, said: “It has never been more important to ensure that young people are taught these crucial life skills, and our partnership will benefit thousands of children over the next three years and beyond.”, which has also been strongly campaigning for more financial awareness, found in a report last month that a lack of financial education is costing the UK around 3.4bn a year.

The report looked at how people armed with better financial skills would be more likely to plan their retirement effectively, boost their job prospects, steer clear of excessive debt and spend their cash more wisely.