Nutritional supplement from the BBC
Apparently, according to Government plans, cookery lessons are to be compulsory in England's secondary schools for children aged 11 to 14.
It is intended that pupils will learn to cook for an hour a week for one term. Poorer pupils (who will no doubt be ‘means’ – or indeed ‘beans’ tested) will have the costs of the ingredients that they need to supply subsidised to the tune of £2.5M per annum.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families says that about 85% of secondary schools do offer cookery in one form or another and it wants these schools to make the change immediately with the remainder introducing the change by 2011.
The Department estimates that 800 new cookery teachers will have to be trained to support the initiative, which it is believed will help in the fight against obesity levels in children. Levels expected to exceed 1m over the next decade.
Ed (I can sing a Rainbow/the fundamentals of the economy are sound) Balls stated that;
"It's not going to be just the technology of food, it will be how you can use simple ingredients, simple recipes, so that children and young people can be prepared for adult life."
Perhaps spending a little more time on basic grammar, reading, writing and mathematics would also help children better prepare for adult life.
Shouldn’t most of this stuff come from the home though? If a child is used to a variety of foods and is encouraged to participate in a variety of activities, some sedentary, some involving exercise and some IN THE KITCHEN then perhaps this additional tinkering in an already overburdened curriculum wouldn’t be necessary.
I assume that the school inspectors will now have several additional assessments to make on their visits.
‘Class 7C’s Lamb Tajine was slightly under spiced and the couscous soggy. The apricot tartlets were a delight although the (packet!!!!) custard was lukewarm and a little lumpy. Tap water was served on request and parking was ample’.
Of course the other issue is what ‘simple ingredients and simple recipes’ are to be included.
I have it on no good authority whatsoever that some of the following are being considered;
‘Creditable Crunchies’ – A sub-prime American dish that exports rather too well.
‘Geordie Rock Cakes’ – All pupils will need to contribute dough to stabilise an occasionally deflating base. May leave a bitter aftertaste.
‘Curry Favour’ – with spiced Indian aid – the extra dish that isn’t really needed by the diner but is still swallowed whole. An extra seat at the top table will be required.
‘Donor Kebabs’ – with Spit Roasted Orange. Hopefully to be followed by just desserts
If you can think of any delicious additions to the list please do let me know.