Three years ago the British Nutrition Foundation undertook research to establish the level of food and nutrition teaching in primary initial teacher training throughout the UK.
The research indicated that even though food played an important role in science, design and technology and health education, food was not covered in any great detail in initial teacher training courses due to constraints of time and resources.
Following on from this research and a publication by the Department of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food called Guidance on Food and Nutrition Teaching in Initial Teaching Training, the BNF was awarded a contract by the European Union to manage its education initiative on food safety for the UK in 2000-2001. It will develop a sustined comprehensive food safety education programme for ITT students.
The training materials will be CD-Rom based and will include computer-based assessment. They will be accredited by the BNF and DATA, the Design and Technology Association.
The CD-Rom will be trialled in five ITT institutes in early 2001, and are being distributed free to all ITT centres. It enables students to learn in their own time and repeat areas of study if necessary.
At the end of the training, successful students receive a certificate in food safety in the primary school classroom - a useful record of achievement for future employees.
Roy Ballam is senior education officer of the British Nutrition Foundation 52-54 High Holborn House, High Holborn, London WC1V 6RQ. Tel: 020 7404 6504. Fax: 020 7404 6747. Web: www.nutrition. org.uk