Eaten up with rage over food

19th January 2001 at 00:00
AS I read the Science amp; Technology Curriculum Special (TES, December 29), my feelings changed from interest to almost anger as I read how the head of technology at Grey Coat Hospital girls' comprehensive removed food from the school curriculum because it invited stereotypes.

As head of technology at St Bernard's high school in Westcliff-on-Sea and with personal responsibility for food, I was shocked that Maggie Laing felt that the teaching of food was surplus to requirements. Food investigations are a fundamental life skill. When on a budget, an understanding of how to eat wisely and cheaply is a vital skill.

Our school technology team is working to achieve an all-round level of understanding of how the plastics industry, together with microwave technology etc, can help us to get "out of the kitchen" ad allow time to explore and develop other interests. This is what we aim to achieve and our results certainly indicate that this is what is happening.

Another advantage of keeping food on the timetable is that girls discuss what they are doing, helping each other understand how things and food work.

We aim to provide our pupils with as many technological opportunities as possible and our Year 9s work with local engineers on a two-day project each year. This year the girls have designed a fairground ride based on the London Eye and the feedback proves that the girls are open to any technological challenge set.

So do not let headteachers and governors use Ms Laing's article as an excuse for them to do away with food in their school.

Mrs K Croft-White Royal Terrace Southend-on-Sea, Essex

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