Teachers around the country are getting bread-making lessons so that they can inspire teenagers to bake.
The National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) is sending board members into schools as part of the Teach Food Technology programme, designed to prepare for when food technology becomes a compulsory part of the national curriculum.
Home economics is not a statutory subject, so the programme is helping to educate teachers who are not food specialists, giving them basic baking skills and tips.
National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim) director general Alex Waugh said it had contacted the government to suggest the new programme covered baking as one of its practical elements. It agreed, and artisan bakers are now giving up their time to visit schools in London, Birmingham, Manchester and the south west.
Said Waugh: "Four hundred teachers should have had the training by the time the programme ends in March and they are on track to do that.
"Teachers’ feedback has been superb and really positive it has given them confidence and I think they’ll be teaching bread-making in schools as a result. It should lead to children being inspired and wanting to do baking or at least looking at bread a bit differently and recognising the skill of people who make it well."
Anthony Kindred, of Kindred Bakery, has given demonstrations at schools in London many of them to geography or history teachers. He said: "It’s usually quite a mixed bunch of people who are foodies and those who have never seen a bag of flour, but they have always been very keen."
His one-and-a-half-hour sessions show teachers how to make dough balls and plaits. Added Kindred: "The more people who know that bread is a handmade product, the more it becomes another weapon in our armoury against the supermarkets."
Waugh said it was unlikely the government would put any more money into the programme but that nabim was talking about ways the training could be continued.