Compulsory cookery classes22nd January 2008
The government has said that cooking lessons will be "compulsory" in secondary schools for children aged from 11 to 14.
Children will be taught how to cook in a one hour lesson, once a week, for one term. The lessons form part of the government's programme for tackling obesity.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families have said that around 85% of secondary schools provide "some form" of cooking lessons.
The department has said that these schools should offer the timetable of lessons "immediately", and the remaining schools by 2011.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said that 800 cookery teachers should be trained.
Speaking on BBC One's Breakfast programme, Mr Balls connected the lessons with the government's obesity strategy.
"I think it is important to act now and maybe we should have acted earlier," he said.
"It's not going to be just the technology of food, it will be how you can use simple ingredients, simple recipes, so that children and young people can be prepared for adult life."
Mr Balls said he will give schools in England £2.5m annually to aid children from poorer families to pay for ingredients.
Clarissa Williams of the National Association of Head Teachers said there could be problems in finding staff and resources.
On BBC Radio 4's Today programme Ms Williams said: "Cookers, microwaves, all of the utensils, all of that costs a lot of money."
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