All kids must cook, says PM
By GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON
November 30, 2006
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ALL pupils should leave school able to cook, enjoy the theatre, handle home finances and surf the internet, Tony Blair will say today.
The PM will set a new benchmark as he marks the tenth anniversary of his “Education, Education, Education” crusade.
Mr Blair will insist the three Rs — reading, writing and arithmetic — are still vital tools for all pupils.
But they must be reinforced with new “life skills”.
School leavers should know how to cook a meal, handle domestic finances, take part in a debate, enjoy the theatre and use the internet.
A source said last night: “These are absolute life skills which no one can ignore these days. Employers are looking for people with great communication skills.
“Being able to debate is a vital tool — but so are other things which can be taught at school.”
However, Mr Blair’s emphasis on non-academic learning will infuriate many traditionalist
His argument is that all kids must be equipped with the skills for living — not just for landing a job.
Mr Blair, in a speech to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in London, will also set a new target for academies by 2010.
The current pledge is to have 200 new academies — but he will say he wants scores more set up in the same time frame.
There are currently 46 academies up and running with a further 50 in the pipeline.
The PM will also point to the soaring number of specialist schools — up from eight per cent of the total to 80 per cent — as proof of his success in turning around education.
The speech will also mark the 30th anniversary of former Labour PM Jim Callaghan’s introduction of a national curriculum.
Mr Blair was Opposition Leader in 1996 when he declared his priorities were “Education, Education, Education”.
It captured the imagination of millions of voters and helped him win the 1997 General Election