Domestic chores on school agenda idea

FIRST Delia Smith taught us How to Boil an Egg and now education minister Charles Clarke wants to get back to basics – by adding how to iron a shirt, change a light bulb or sew on a button, to the school curriculum.

FIRST Delia Smith taught us How to Boil an Egg and now education minister Charles Clarke wants to get back to basics – by adding how to iron a shirt, change a light bulb or sew on a button, to the school curriculum.

The MP for Norwich South has launched a competition to kindle a debate about the "life skills" young people will need when they leave home or go to university.

He is calling on people, young and old, to e-mail him with their top five lessons and the sender of the best suggestion will win a personal guided tour of the House of Commons.

"We need to have a national debate about the core practical skills our young people need to learnt to equip themselves for independent adult life," he said.


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"I'd say that changing a fuse, giving basic first aid and organising a holiday journey are all pretty essential, but I want to hear from the public."

Schools will have a part to play, said a spokesman for Mr Clarke, but it might not be appropriate for them to take on such things as ironing and mowing the lawn.

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"First he wants to determine which skills people think are important and then he will decide how they fit in," he said.

In Suffolk, a county council spokeswoman said that it would be left to the individual schools how or if, they would implement such additions to lessons.

Other examples put forward include cooking a simple meal, opening and running a bank account, putting up curtains and knowing where basic information can be found.

The competition closes on January 31. Send your suggestions to lifeskillscompetition@dfes.gsi.gov.uk

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