The primary school home economics department is TOAST

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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 education authority has failed to attract any home experts to the 1,000-student school.

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It comes in an era of heightened interest in cooking for life skills, for careers, and when television is abuzz with baking and meal preparation shows.

Opposition politicians in Renfrewshire Council have savagely attacked them for failing children.

Historic Grammar is the alma mater of passionate broadcaster Andrew Neil, Dr Who star David Tennant and even Fred ‘The Shred’, the CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland who nearly caused its collapse.

David Tennant – Credits his Paisley Grammar English teacher, Moira Robertson, as the biggest influence on him.
David Tennant – Credits his Paisley Grammar English teacher, Moira Robertson, as the biggest influence on him.

Renfrewshire Conservative leader Neill Graham is stunned by the household’s financial collapse after it emerged some children have only made toast and sandwiches in recent years.

And she revealed that parents have told her that some children are learning more about food at the NURSERY school.

The councilman was alerted to the disaster by a “dismayed” Paisley East constituent who has a son about to move to high school.

Councilor Graham said: “This situation is completely unacceptable. It should not have taken a young constituent of mine to raise these issues.

“Serious questions need to be asked about what Renfrewshire Council has been doing to recruit home economics teachers. They’re not even announcing any posts right now, which isn’t good enough.”

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He has demanded that education chiefs redouble their efforts to make some appointments.

Renfrewshire Council refused to explain exactly what was going on at the school after being asked how many teachers there are normally in the department and how long it’s been since there have been any.

A spokeswoman said: “Due to the 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 vital in attracting young people to the hotel industry, which is currently short of jobs.

In the junior years of high school, it involves basic techniques and nutrition before developing to a higher level in menu planning, safe hygiene, and event planning.

Foodie: Andrew Neil is a former Paisley grammarian
Foodie: Andrew Neil is a former Paisley grammarian

Mr. Graham, who represents Paisley Northeast and Ralston, added: “Children will miss out on vital life skills, which is a key part of what they will learn in home economics lessons.

“We constantly hear that children need to have a healthy diet, but this goes against that.

“These lessons can help them in terms of cooking, in terms of ingredients and preparation. Renfrewshire Council needs to redouble their recruiting efforts.

“Under SNP watch, there is a teacher shortage across Scotland and our councils have not been given enough resources to tackle problems like this.

“I will continue to press for Renfrewshire Council to ensure that home economics is a routine part of the curriculum at Paisley Grammar as this cannot continue for pupils.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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