The Government has announced £150m for secondary schools to help them to introduce compulsory cookery classes from 2011.
The money, which councils will be invited to bid for, is ring-fenced to build food technology teaching areas in the 500 plus school that don’t currently any facilities at all.
Another £750,000 is available to assist schools in recruiting the 800 new food technology teachers estimated to be required, and an additional £2.5m has already been promised to cover the cost of the ingredients.
A new free cookbook, backed by TV chef Phil Vickery, has been made available for 11 year olds as part of the initiative. It contains a range of healthy recipes for favourites such as spaghetti Bolognese, roast chicken legs and apple crumble.
Schools minister Ed Balls said: “Cooking is already taught in the vast majority of primary schools and we’re making it compulsory in secondary school from 2011.
“We are now paving the way, so that every school will be ready to offer cooking classes – with good facilities and well-skilled, motivated teachers.”
In January experts warned that additional funding would be needed if plans to introduce compulsory cookery lessons into schools were to succeed.
For more on school meals see our school dinners round up >>
By Chris Druce
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