A newly developed cooking and nutrition GCSE is set to give youngsters the right preparation to gain success in the hospitality and food industries and will also provide them with important life skills, the minister for school reform has said.
The course was recently announced by the minister, Nick Gibb, and will be hitting schools in September 2016.
People studying it will need to learn about scientific principles around nutrition and food, and cook and prepare things to eat using practical techniques.
On September 25th, the government released a consultation about draft content for the qualification as well as revised course content relating to several other GCSE and A Level courses.
The list of things that it is proposed the cooking and nutrition course will include was developed using help from the School Food Plan’s authors and other experts.
It is set to provide knowledge about things like nutrition, the origins of foods and the practical side of cookery.
Students will be prepared for taking on things like food or catering apprenticeships or food themed tech levels by the course, should they wish to do so afterwards.
The qualification builds upon elements already in place in three presently taught food GCSEs – food technology, hospitality and catering and home economics.
On top of this, it adds new areas about the science around food and cooking.
Subject experts and exam boards have co-operated in the drafting of a new GCSE in design and technology. But the view among experts was that the current inclusion of food technology in that GCSE didn’t give food science or skilled practical food prep their due prominence, and so the cooking and nutrition course was developed.
Nick Gibb has said that: “At the heart of any food qualification should be a focus on developing practical cookery skills and a strong understanding of nutrition.
“That’s why we’ve created the cooking and nutrition GCSE so that rather than designing food packaging, students will now learn the essentials of food science, nutrition and how to cook healthily.”
Meanwhile, Leon and the School Food Plan co-founder, Henry Dimbleby, called the GCSE a further large step in the right direction where this country’s food education is concerned, after the government brought in compulsory cooking for kids aged 14 and under.
“I particularly like the new emphasis on understanding and enjoying British and international cuisines and encouraging students to develop their own recipes,” he added.
“It is a serious qualification that will be another step towards creating a healthier and happier society.”
Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.