One of Scotland’s best-known public schools has been hit by a kitchen crisis.
Surprisingly, there is NO home economics department at Paisley Grammar.
The school authority failed to lure any home experts into the school of 1,000 students.
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This comes at a time of huge interest in cooking for life skills, for careers, and when television is full of baking and meal prep shows.
Opposition politicians at Renfrewshire Council bullied them for failing the children.
The historical grammar is the alma mater of fiery broadcaster Andrew Neil, Dr Who star David Tennant and even Fred “The Shred” – the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland who nearly brought it down.
Renfrewshire Tory leader Neill Graham is amazed at the collapse of the home economy after it emerged some children have been making nothing but toast and sandwiches in recent years.
And he revealed he was told by parents that some children learn more about food in preschool.
The councilor was alerted to the mess by a ‘dismayed’ voter in Paisley East who has a child about to move to high school.
Councilor Graham said: “This situation is totally unacceptable. One of my young constituents should not have raised these issues.
“Serious questions need to be asked about what Renfrewshire Council has done to recruit home economics teachers. They’re not even advertising posts right now, which isn’t good enough.
He asked education bosses to redouble their efforts to make some appointments.
Renfrewshire Council declined to say exactly what was going on at the school after being asked how many teachers are normally in the department and how long there has been none.
A spokeswoman said: “Due to a shortage of home economics teachers in Scotland, we are currently still looking for a teacher for the school.
“In the meantime, additional training within the school has ensured that home economics remains on the curriculum.”
Home economics is seen as key to attracting young people to the hospitality industry, which currently lacks jobs.
In the early years of high school, this involves basic skills and nutrition before developing to the next level in menu planning, safe hygiene and event organization.
Mr Graham, who represents Paisley Northeast and Ralston, added: ‘Children will miss essential life skills which is a key part of what they will learn in home economics lessons.
“We constantly hear about kids needing healthy food, but it flies in the face of that.
“These courses can help them in terms of cooking, in terms of ingredients and preparation. Renfrewshire Council must do more to recruit.
“Under the watch of the SNP, there is a teacher shortage across Scotland and they have not given our councils enough resources to deal with issues like this.
‘I will continue to press for Renfrewshire Council to ensure home economics is a regular part of the curriculum at Paisley Grammar as this cannot last for pupils.’
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