Adventurous appetite for learning;Food for life

19th June 1998 at 01:00
Our top chefs and cookery writers have wide and varying views on the importance of food in education. But all agree on one basic point - there is an urgent need to give food and cooking their rightful place in schools, writes Martin Whittaker.

Michael Barry, the chef and television presenter, says: "It's not just a matter of teaching children theory. Cooking and food are practical things. If you can catch children's tastes and their interest and excitement, you'll keep them for life. There's a huge role for schools, but only if food is made a central part of the national curriculum."

The Academie Culinaire (UK), a trade association of top chefs and restaurateurs, runs an Adopt A School programme to promote food education. Projects manager Dervila O'Grady says: "There are a lot of people very interested in getting food on to the curriculum. There are a lot of teachers putting in time after school. But when it comes to getting auxiliary help, there are not many places to go."

Hilary Bull at Hornby County High School, Lancaster, has found ways around this. She cooks with pupils, invites top chefs to school and takes children to restaurants and hotel kitchens. They explore foreign cuisine and have skinned and gutted rabbits. Her commitment made her the BBC Good Food Awards Teacher of the Year 1997.

"We're very lucky in our school because we have a large proportion of our time given over to food technology," she says. "The children love it. They try everything. It's about bringing real life into the curriculum so that you're not just designing and making a pizza on a computer screen, which seems to happen a lot."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today