SO, THE Gove (as in Michael, not a lazy abbreviation for the government) wants all children to learn to cook at school.
Very sensible you may say, particularly as many of today’s children are growing up not knowing where an egg comes from, never mind how to boil it.
Some go for days, weeks or months without a tomato, carrot or even a slice of cucumber garnishing their horseburgers. When it comes to their physical and mental development, a constant diet of convenience food can slow them down physically and intellectually, so three cheers for the return of lessons in cooking, which can’t be done by tapping a keyboard or staring at a screen (hurrah again).
It was often taught in primary schools in the past but was one of many subjects squeezed out or reduced, like music and drama, when the national curriculum came in. Teachers warned then that children were likely to become less well-rounded individuals if they were taught a narrow curriculum at an early age. Hmm.
Oh, and there are further nips and tucks: GCSEs are now being kept, and the English Baccalaureate abandoned.
The International Baccalaureate is considered a better model (used very successfully by the American Community School in Uxbridge) but quite honestly, I like GCSEs, as they are the fairest system we’re likely to get.
I hope A-levels, too, always remain.
Many young people want to specialise at 16. I still remember the joy of ditching maths and concentrating on my favourite subjects, while the science geeks were equally glad to drop soppy stuff like English and art.
I think I’d have left school rather than join the sixth form if I hadn’t been allowed to become mistress of my own destiny at this stage.
Surely the biggest lesson for any government from all this is to learn to stop interfering with the curriculum every time a new lot comes into power.
Improvements are always welcomed – such as tightening up A-levels – but not changes for the sake of it.
Listen to the teachers. Put the schools first.
We know who’s in charge. You don’t have to keep proving it.
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