Food: Secondary Education

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

(1) what estimate he has made of the likely number of additional teachers needed to provide cookery lessons in schools for 11 to 14-year-olds over the next three years;

(2) what estimate he has made of the likely cost of re-training existing teachers to provide cookery lessons in schools;

(3) how many secondary schools do not provide cookery lessons;

(4) what account the setting of teacher training intake targets for 2008 has taken of the policy on the provision of compulsory cookery classes;

(5) what discussions he has with the Training and Development Agency for Schools on increasing the number of teachers who specialise in teaching cookery.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)

The Department has recently provided the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) with targets for teacher training places in secondary subjects for the three year period 2008-09 to 2010-2011. We will make available approximately 800 secondary school food technology teacher training places in this period.

These figures were all based on outputs from our teacher supply model, which takes account of range of factors that determine how many teacher training places we need to set for future years. One of these factors is new curriculum pressures or initiatives that will affect the number of teachers needed in different subjects, and one of these was a need to provide more teachers of food technology. The targets we gave the TDA therefore made allowance for an expansion in this area. The modelling and targets also took account of the fact that there will be significantly fewer secondary pupils in the next few years.

We have been working with the TDA to find ways of increasing the number of teachers of food technology in recent years. We will continue to do so in pursuit of this new commitment that the Government have announced.

Approximately 15 per cent. of secondary schools do not currently offer food technology at key stage 3. In March 2008 we will be carrying out a survey of these schools in order to understand what additional support will be needed to enable them to offer food technology. In advance of the results of that survey, no estimate has been made of the cost of retraining existing teachers.

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