Food Science Education

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IFST calls on government to recognise that food is an excellent vehicle to teach children science, supporting priorities in public health, an innovative economy, and the need to move towards a more sustainable food system. With the loss of food science A levels, the next government needs to do more to encourage the integration of food topics into the science curricula for secondary school children. The only secondary qualification dealing with food, the Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE, while having scientific elements in the curriculum, has a greater emphasis on the skills of food preparation and cooking and will not automatically be seen as a core GCSE for those wanting to pursue a career in food science.

What the main party manifestos say about it

Liberal Democrats:

The manifesto doesn’t cover food science education, but proposes that the party will “support recruitment of highest-quality teachers in shortage areas such as science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths”

Labour:

The manifesto doesn’t cover food science (or science) education

Conservatives:

The manifesto states that the party will:

  • Establish a curriculum fund “to encourage Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum and others to help develop knowledge-rich materials for our schools”
  • Offer a new post-16 technical route, “replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science”

What IFST is doing about it

IFST currently supports schools in the investigation element of the GCSE by arranging mentors for schools and publishes food science resources for secondary schools under the Love Food Love Science banner (for more information see http://www.ifst.org/lovefoodlovescience)

IFST has an ongoing project to align food science resources to the sciences curricula and encourage their use and integration in the curriculum, through discussions with educational stakeholders. For more information and if you would like to support this activity, please contact John Bassett j.bassett@ifst.org

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