Don't starve young minds

16th May 2003 at 01:00
POLITICIANS will have to be reminded of the bill for ill health if they let food-related teaching slip from the curriculum, a home economics conference in Dundee was told last weekend.

Robert Pickard, of the British Nutrition Foundation, told delegates: "The teaching of home economics is beneficial to the entire community and of real economic value to the nation."

Professor Pickard's comments follow a survey by the Institute of Consumer Sciences which found an alarming staff shortage across Scotland, leading in some cases to cuts in the curriculum.

Home economics staff were in the front line of instilling values of citizenship and vital to the future health of the nation, Professor Pickard said. Referring to developments south of the border, and to Scotland, he said the foundation was looking for "a total cultural change over the next 20 years".

"We are raising appreciation of what society needs from teachers and the curriculum. There will be more local attempts to improve and recreate cooking skills and good cooking programmes," he said.

Margaret McGhie, director of the Scottish Executive's health promoting schools unit, underlined the role of schools in improving health and well-being. "The concept is not just about staying alive but about getting a life," she said.

"Yes, healthy eating is covered in home economics. But isn't it also about being together? Sharing and learning how to respect other people's views and opinions and getting joy out of eating together? All the things you are doing in your departments are about teaching young people self-esteem, how to get on with others and how to make decisions."

Alastair MacGregor, a Scottish Qualifications Authority manager, announced new Intermediate 1 courses for next session in health and food technology and hospitalitypractical cookery. At Intermediate II, there will be courses in practical cookery and creative cake production.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now