Whole-school issues

9th March 2007 at 00:00
From good diet to pound;10 entrepreneurs, with Gerald Haigh

Citizenship, Enterprise and Learning: Harmonising Competing Educational Agendas; Trentham Books pound;16.99

There's been some publicity in recent weeks for an enterprise project called Can you Start a Business with a Tenner? Pupils are given pound;10 each and challenged to make a profit with it.

Ollie Barrett, the entrepreneur who's behind the scheme, was interviewed on BBC radio and asked whether it was all about capitalism and profit. Not at all, he said. "It's a competition about having ideas and making them happen."

It's a valid question. As Ross Deuchar writes: "Education for citizenship is growing just when the enterprise education agenda is becoming stronger.

In many teachers' minds the values underpinning these two aims appear contradictory."

Ross, though, is with Ollie. He argues that if you apply a broader definition to each of the two strands, they become complementary, and you are offering young people the chance to use their initiative and energies across a range of activities: "It is now recognised that young people can be enterprising in a range of contexts."

Much of the book looks at case studies from Scotland that show enterprise, education and citizenship studies working together.

Visit www.starttalkingideas.orgmym_with_a_tenner.

Healthy Eating in Schools: a handbook of practical case studies; Edited by Verner Wheelock. Verner Wheelock Associates pound;8.99

www.vwa.co.uk

Sometimes it seems as though while a large part of the world's population is involved in a quest for enough to eat, the rest - the ones who've cornered most of the grub - are constantly worried about whether they're eating the right stuff. Much of the concern centres on children's diet, and especially school meals.

Here we've come full circle. Up to the late 1980s, every local authority had its assertively-managed school meals service, and an imposed regime of balanced meals. Then along came the delegation of central budgets to schools and everyone retreated behind a barrage of chips and minced material moulded into food-like shapes. Teachers and heads washed their hands fastidiously of the affair.

Now, the balanced diet principle is back with a vengeance. Even when you strip out some of the pseudo-science that bedevils this area, there's genuine cause for concern for what the modern diet is doing to young people.

As a result, we're now seeing some ingenious and creative school catering ideas, many of which are described here.

The book is entertaining, readable, and a useful, practical handbook for anyone who wants to do something about what's on the menu in their school

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