Tuesday 22 January 2008 

The Foundation welcomes the announcement from Rt. Hon. Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for for Children, Schools and Families, about the teaching and learning of food becoming compulsory in secondary schools throughout England.

What does this mean?

  1. From September 2008 all pupils in secondary schools will have the entitlement to learn how to cook through the Licence to Cook programme. This entitlement will be delivered mainly through the revised Design and Technology: food curriculum, although schools can deliver the entitlement to suit their local needs and circumstances. The Foundation's Education Group is working in a consortium to develop resources of behalf of the DCSF. For further information, go to: www.schoolsnetwork.org.uk/cooking

  2. Recruitment and training for an additional 800 food teachers will take place.

  3. Learning basic cooking skills is already compulsory for children in maintained primary schools in England. From September 2011 the food element of D&T will be compulsory for all Key Stage 3 pupils (as will resistant materials and systems and control).

  4. Funding of £2.5 million will be available towards the cost of ingredients for pupils on free school meals from September 2011.

Stephanie Valentine, Deputy Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation says "This opportunity for young people to earn their Licence to Cook will help to encourage enthusiasm for cooking at home using a range of basic ingredients. The more young people are able to shop wisely and cook healthy, appetizing meals for themselves, their friends and families, the better chance of halting rising rates of obesity in this country".

The public are being asked to suggest, to the DCSF, which classic British and international main courses and puddings young people should be taught by emailing: getcooking.consultation@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk.

For further information, go to: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2008_0015

What about the rest of the UK?

The Foundation is delighted that Wales will be making food compulsory at Key Stages 2 and 3 from September 2008. For further information, go to:


In Northern Ireland, food is now compulsory in secondary schools in Learning for Life and Work, which includes Home Economics. For further information, go to:


In Scotland, Curriculum for Excellence will be publishing draft experiences and outcomes for Technologies and Health and Wellbeing in May 2008. These two areas will have food aspects. For further information, go to:


Notes to editors:

• The British Nutrition Foundation is an independent scientific and educational charity that promotes the nutritional wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and dissemination of scientifically based nutritional knowledge and advice.

Contact details:
British Nutrition Foundation, High Holborn House,
52-54 High Holborn, London WC1V 6RQ

Tel: 020 7404 6504  Fax: 020 7404 6747


© British Nutrition Foundation 2008

Last reviewed July 2009. Next review due December 2013.


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