Educating viewers: TV teachers embrace chance to share joy and pain of schools

Aug 28, 2015 by

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Educating Cardiff is the latest in a flurry of shows set in the classroom, and some of their stars hope to challenge the audience’s ideas about teenagers

Leah and Courtney, two disaffected pupils at Willows high school in Cardiff, are late for period one science. The cameras capture them as they sidle into school and slip into class, surly and disruptive, as the teacher battles on.

Later Courtney tries to explain. “When I wake up, I have to sit there for like 10 minutes to actually wake up.” She giggles. “Well, I just don’t wake up,” says Leah. “You have to jump on her to wake her,” says Courtney, with mock gravity. The surly girls turn out to be sweet and funny; they have complicated lives and feelings, and the viewer is hooked.

We may be nearing the end of the summer holidays, but the television schedules have barely left the classroom.

A couple of weeks ago viewers watched Chinese teachers at work in a Hampshire secondary school in BBC2’s three-part series Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School.

Before that there was Channel 4’s Sex in Class, in which a Belgian sexologist reinvented sex education at a Lancashire secondary school. We’ve had School Swap, ITV’s two-part documentary in which a headteacher and three pupils from a comprehensive swap with their counterparts from a private school.

Then this week, following the success of Channel 4’s Educating Essex, Yorkshire and the East End, we had the first episode of a new eight-part series, Educating Cardiff, which is where we meet Leah and Courtney.

Source: Educating viewers: TV teachers embrace chance to share joy and pain of schools | Education | The Guardian

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