For people who care about their food

Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills launches in September 2010

I’ve just received Jamie Oliver’s monthly email newsletter which I signed up for. Among other things, he says:

September is also the month the cooking qualification I’ve created in partnership with Edexcel launches in schools around the UK. It’s called Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills and it’s the start of a real journey for me. As of this school year, the government has made cooking lessons mandatory for all students in British secondary schools.

Hmm, mandatory cooking lessons? I don’t know if I agree that it’s a Good Thing. I mean, sure, everyone should be able to fend for themselves and cooking is a basic life skill, but is it really necessary to make it compulsory at school? I suppose that much will depend on the syllabus of the course and the quality of teaching. In ye olden days when I was at school, cooking was an essential subject in the first year of secondary – for girls only! (the boys got woodwork). But we got really boring stuff like making a breakfast (how to make a cup of tea and cut an orange in half), and other stuff that even then was old-fashioned (jam roly-poly and the like).

I tried to investigate further by looking on the official Jamie Oliver website, but couldn’t find anything at all about the Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills course on there. After a fair bit of searching, the best information I could find was on the Local Authority Caterers Association site. You can read the full story here.



What do you think? Do you agree that cooking lessons should be mandatory in schools? Please comment and have your say.

7 Responses to “Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills launches in September 2010”

  1. Julie Kaine

    The resources for this course were promised in July after the launch of the course had taken place around the country as well as the online launch which I attended. The website and all its resources has still not been completed and yet school starts in less than 2 weeks time. Now it seems it has a September release.
    Considering we have based our Y9 scheme of work around this new course, we are less than impressed with the shift in timescale.
    Come on Jamie, sort it out!

  2. Mike the Curry Fiend

    I am pro the compulsory cooking. I really do believe a large section of the population just do not know the first thing and this is getting worse as no skills are being passed through the generations. Ok you can teach yourself (I did) but most people don’t have the motivation to do that. I also believe the growing obesity problem is very closely linked as more and more people seem to be living on processed foods and takeaways/junk food.

    There are kids in my wife’s school who will (literally) get crisps for their dinner when they get home from school and get through the day by glugging down sugar-filled fizzy drinks.

  3. Not Delia

    Some interesting comments here. Thanks, Folks.

    I’m not a parent and I’m not a teacher, so I’m a bit wary of holding a firm opinion on this issue.

    If cooking will indeed be compulsory, I think it’s a worry (to say the least) that Jamie Oliver has allegedly promised and not delivered the necessary materials.

  4. Mike the Curry Fiend

    There is another organisation called Focus on Food that sounds interesting. They have specially converted buses which they take round schools to do cookery lessons. Here is a link if it’s of interest to any parents/teachers.

    I found out about it when I did a (very good) pastry course at Dean Clough Cookery School in Halifax a few months back. Apparently the cookery school is not for profit and largely funds the Focus on Food organisation.

    I’m not an employee and/or on commission by the way. 🙂

    How are your legs by the way Kay? I saw from the other articles that you were wheelchair bound for a bit. Hope you’ve recovered now. 🙂

  5. Joe Dorrian

    Take away the word “mandatory” and add a dash or currylikum and a pinch of attitude. I work part tyme with 14-19 year old with serious attitude and exclusion issues, whoos righting skills match there gramma, which they think goes in a masala.
    I just wish they had kept up cookery; or some basic culinary subjects, as I nearly weep with some of the overweight and spotty kids, whose Dad is in jail and their Mum works on the street; walk into my class. These young folk are the product of our past political decisions. Kay keep up the good work and Jamie keep pushing so that in a few years our kids can boil an egg on brown bread. Funny!! I said that one morning in class. A student actually cracked an egg on the bread and waited for it to boil. Say no more.

    Joe D

  6. Not Delia

    Thanks for all the great comments – that’s one of the things I enjoy most about this blog.

    Funnily I enough I posted yesterday about how to fry an egg. I was doing it tongue-in-cheek but perhaps there is a need for such things and perhaps that even explains the incredible popularity of Delia Smith.

    (I’m still hobbling around and need the walking stick occasionally, but I won’t let that stop me. We’re planning a trip to Singapore next month.)

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