Where do baby spuds come from?

12th May 2000 at 01:00
JUST occasionally you get one of those facts that stops you in your tracks. This week it was revealed that more than half of children think potatoes grow on trees.

Perhaps it's the parents' fault. According to surveys for the TES sister website learnfree.co.uk and the BBC, they spend more time on their kids' homework than their offspring. Poor things - between the Government's demands that they support their children's schoolwork and provide good role models by going out to work themselves there's not a lot of time to peel and cook real, mucky spuds or enhance their kids' general knowledge.

Schools, meanwhile, are otherwise occupied with the 3Rs in order to get the best possible showing in this month's national tests. This week's wheeze for enthusing boys in literacy and numeracy: make them translate the offside rule into English (impossible) and work out how much cash a footballer gets from his ludicrous transfer ee.

The throw-a-footballer-at-a problem approach surfaced again in a "morale-boosting" visit by Kevin Keegan to St George's RC school in London, plagued by violence since its head Philip Lawrence was murdered by a teenage gangleader in 1995. Head Marie Stubbs said of Keegan: "What a man; those shoes must have cost more than we earn in a year but he was happy to run round in the rain." There's a whole numeracy hour in that one.

Misty nostalgia from MPs on their first day at school - but few surprises. John Redwood didn't miss his mum, William Hague walked out in protest after a morning of jigsaws, and Charles Kennedy had wind up his kilt and mud on his knees.

Less nostalgia from Lord Puttnam on good old Mr Chips. "I don't recall Mr Chips starting his day with a tour of the local housing estate, persuading parents to get their children out of bed." Bet his pupils knew where potatoes came from, though.

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