Mr Gove, please DO NOT bring just cooking lessons to schools.

Saturday past I read an article in the Telegraph about teaching food in schools.  Personally I consider this a waste of time.  I wrote to the Education Secretary about this, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.  To see my reasoning…

Untitled-1The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
House of Commons

11th February 2013

Dear Mr Gove,

There seems to be a lot of hand clapping for the recent announcement that cookery lessons are coming back to the classroom.

I think that we would all support the sentiment, but, I feel this has to be taken further to really make an overall difference to our children’s future

I would like to suggest we brings Home Economics back into schools, not just cookery lessons, albeit in a more contemporary form.

Home Economics is all about running the home. Now, of course that includes cooking skills, but there are other inter-curricular transferable skills within the teaching of Home Economics that would not only put food on the table but also give students the skills they need to make use of tasty leftovers, understand how food is manufactured, stored and heated, keep control of their finances and be more aware of the dangers of ‘Payday Loans’, to name but a few of the benefits. A better education with regards to food, its contents as well as its forms of preparation would surely help the growing issue of obesity in the UK.

Home Economics will build on subjects across the curriculum, especially the basic subjects of Maths, English and the Sciences. It will give an overall knowledge that young people will be able to call upon for the rest of their lives; not just teach them how to cook 20 different recipes

So where as I do applaud the latest plans for our schools, I think a broader more common sense approach is needed to give our children the basic skills of running the home for their health and future financial stability and the positive knock on effect it will then have on our country’s economy.

As a Home Economist myself, I see cookery lessons as a prerequisite for a career in catering. The study of Home Economics however, I believe, gives our children the best chance of learning how to be responsible, healthy and informed citizens of the future.

Kind regards

James McIntosh MA, MICSc, MIACP, FRSA

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