Gone daffed over the spring menu

6th April 2001 at 01:00
AS spring has sprung, it was apt to read about David Bishop, the "daff Rev" who munched his way through a handful of daffodil petals to make the point "seeing is believing" to his young audience at St Paul CE primary in Bexhill, East Sussex. Unfortunately, 16 of them ended up in hospital after copying his trick, which he has promised not to repeat.

That incident happened just before the start of National School Meals week launched by Jacqui Smith, the schools standards minister. Tough new Department for Education and Employment guidelines decree that primary children can be served chips only twice a week, while secondaries must offer a healthier alternative.

Apparently, school menus read more like Islington than Ilkley, with tomato and mozzarella panini, rather than sausage, beans and chips. P> David Blunkett has been busy too, ushering in the digital age to the classroom with a plan to put material for the national curriculum online. From September 2002, schools will be able to offer their pupils the opportunity to study in six GCSEs using a digital TV channel. How many more initiatives can he pack in before the delayed election?

The Education Secretary's no-nonsense style is rubbing off in unexpected places. The headmaster of Eton College was moved to admonish parents for turning the school's annual Fourth of June celebrations into a vulgar display of corporate hospitality. A parent said, in the true spirit of Mr Blair's classless society: "There has been a growing, year-on-year problem of 'showy' parents inviting too many of the wrong sort of people."

Diane Spencer

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today