Heston Blumenthal adds dash of spice to home economics GCSE

The Guardian is reporting that the star chef has been brought in to stir things up after the number of pupils taking home economics GCSE has dropped by 20% since 2004.

…The number of pupils taking a GCSE in home economics has dropped by 20% since 2004, and with government emphasis on the core academic subjects there are concerns it could decline further. Blumenthal, who has garnered an international reputation out of his multi-sensory, scientific approach to food, has been recruited to help boost the exam’s popularity in schools.

“The great thing about cooking is it engages all of the senses,” he said. “Can you think of another subject that can encapsulate every other subject you study in school? It covers history, it covers maths, it covers chemistry, physics, biology, English.”

…The new GCSE, which Blumenthal has been working on with the Oxford Cambridge and RSA exam body, will be introduced next year to replace the old food technology GCSE, with a focus on the science and nutrition of cooking. The aim is to attract more boys to the subject…

Grace Reid, the head of design and technology at St Michael’s, would like the government to put more emphasis on the subject area. “For many students the academic route is not always the best route. With food and home economics, a lot of them can see real careers in it.

“Sometimes with the academic subjects it’s difficult for them to see where they can go from there. It would be nice if the government recognised the more creative subjects as being as valid as the more academic ones…”

More at: Heston Blumenthal adds dash of spice to home economics GCSE


Nice PR opportunity for all concerned but is there some substance to this too: if you are involved with, or concerned about, home economics, do you welcome Heston Blumenthal’s involvement?

What are you most hoping for in the new GCSE course?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. AnneCummins

    SchoolsImprove Heston is carrying on false divide between practical and academic. Everyone needs skills to eat well & be healthy

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