TODAY Monday November 13 1995


McDonald's teaching aid is 'brainwashing'

Hard-up schools are resorting to free educational packs from McDonald's to teach children maths, geography and English.

Use of the teaching aids - packed with references to the hamburger giant - was last night slammed as a "frightening intrusion".Some parents fear vulnerable children are being brainwashed.

More than 1,000 educational packs have already been sent to teachers unable to afford anything else. The teaching packs make obvious references to the hamburger chain.

For example:

Geography: Do you know where in England McDonald's restaurants are?

Maths: Add up a collection of baskets of fries.

English: Identify words like Chicken McNuggets, Happy Meals and milk shakes.

The National Confederation of Parent Teachers' Associations criticised the company for targeting young children.

Membership secretary Belinda Yaxley said: "This is subliminal advertising, brainwashing of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Mrs Yaxley, of Norwich, a mother of four, called for legislation to ban such a "frightening intrusion".

She said that although the packs met all educational requirements, they also "rammed the message of McDonald's down children's throats". She added: "Ronald McDonald is being put forward as a teacher. I don't want to ban McDonald's - my children like thm like anyone else. But schools need to be able to teach without indoctrination."

McDonald's said it's pack had been drawn up by a teacher who did a work experience exchange with the company.

It was later endorsed by Humberside Education Business Partnership.

The company stressed the pack was not sent to schools unless requested.