A TEACHING union chief has joined the chairman of BAE Systems in criticising the Government for including horticulture and cookery on its design and technology syllabus.

Simon Jones, secretary of the Blackburn with Darwen NUT, agreed with aerospace boss Dick Olver that the National Curriculum was in a “mess”. Mr Olver, whose company supports the Government's education reforms, warned that “something had gone very wrong” in drafting the design and technology syllabus.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published draft curriculums for 10 secondary school subjects for September 2014. Mr Olver, whose firm is major employer in Lancashire with aerospace factories at Samlesbury and Warton, told a seminar for educators that the proposals for design and technology did “not meet the needs of a technologically literate society. Something has gone very wrong.”

Mr Jones, who represents Lancashire on the NUT’s national executive, said: “Horticulture and cookery are important but they do not belong on the design and technology section of the national curriculum.”

A DfE spokesman said the draft curriculum would give pupils the “skills and expertise to develop the designs and products of the future”.