To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will take steps to ensure that (a) food labelling, (b) farming, (c) the origins of food and (d) obesity become part of the compulsory cooking lessons syllabus for children aged 11 to 14 years.
Beginning in September 2008, the revised key stage 3 design and technology programme of study will require pupils to be taught:
a broad range of practical skills, techniques and equipment and standard recipes, and how to use them to develop, plan and cook meals and single or multiple products; how to plan and carry out a broad range of practical cooking tasks safely and hygienically; healthy eating models relating to a balanced diet, nutritional needs of different groups in society and factors affecting food choice and how to take these into account when planning, preparing and cooking meals and products; and the characteristics of a broad range of ingredients including their nutritional, functional and sensory properties.
Food technology will be an optional strand of the programme of study from 2008 and become compulsory in all maintained schools from September 2011.
We are supporting the Year of Food and Farming that is bringing together a unique education and industry partnership across the country to help schools teach about farming and the origins of food. Our Growing Schools programme will take forward the legacy from the year, providing continued support for schools, including information and guidance on farm visits.