Hardly a day passes without one or other lobby group calling for their particular passion to be a compulsory subject in schools - the latest is Jamie Oliver's 'food revolution' which demands that loads of limited teaching time is given over to this chef's particular brand of nannying fussbucketry:
FOOD REVOLUTION DAY IS FIGHTING TO PUT COMPULSORY PRACTICAL FOOD EDUCATION ON THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM.
With diet-related diseases rising at an alarming rate, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies.
On the face of things teaching children how to cook (I assume this is what Jamie means by 'practical food education') is a great idea - cookery is a really useful life skill. But here's the problem - we get between five and six hours for five days a week across 30 weeks in the year of teaching time. That's a maximum of 900 hours a year in which to teach children how to read and write, add and subtract, read a map, know the basics of history, understand science, learn the rudiments of a foreign language or two, understand culture and religion, experience great literature and a thousand other really important things. And the real figure for teaching time in the UK is much lower - 635 hours/year in primary and 715 hours/year in secondary.