A large serving of TV treats

23rd December 2011 at 00:00
It's our Christmas issue - and it wouldn't be complete without the traditional offering of festive educational TV schedules for Christmas Eve

5:30pm Deal or No Deal

Mike Russell fronts the tension-packed game where a supply teacher has to choose from one of 22 boxes to find out their rate of pay for the day. Russell is a past master at stringing out the tension in the game - even to the extent that he gambles by suggesting he'll just train some new supply teachers who'll be happy to get whatever rate of pay is on offer.

6:00pm Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

The team comes north of the border to oversee the SQA's move from Dalkeith to Lowden - and unearth a treasure trove of historical artefacts as the former HQ is cleared. There are thrilling print-outs of an email exchange from 2000 between Sam Galbraith and Ron Tuck (censored for strong language). See the original Higher Chemistry paper that was subsequently "buried" after alleged Soviet interference over a rogue question. And view, for the first time, a rare artefact found at the back of a filing cabinet: the only remaining copy of the never-shown promotional video: Anton Colella - The Glory Years.

6:30pm Reporting Scotland

BBC Scotland education correspondent Seonag MacKinnon stands in front of a school and moves purposefully across the playground towards camera as she reports on the latest controversy to hit Scottish schools. Then she moves inside to stand at the back of a classroom and move purposefully towards camera through groups of pupils to explain the matter further. Then she goes into the corridor to ask Lindsay Paterson for his opinion, whereupon he denounces Curriculum for Excellence and all it stands for.

7:00pm Christmas Movie: Meet Me in St Andrews Square

Mike Russell invites 50 school leaders round to the seat of government for a reworking of the famous Christmas classic. Russell plays the role of the unyielding father determined to implement curricular reform at whatever cost, but who eventually shows himself to have a heart of gold when he relents and lets the heads have their own way, postponing N45 implementation indefinitely. Highlights include Carole Ford singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Curriculum (`Cos I'm Leaving Anyway!). Watch out for Lindsay Paterson in a cameo role as conductor during the famous "Edinburgh Tram Song": "Clang, clang, clang (didn't) go the trolley".

8:30pm The Education Debate: Transition Matters

Bill Maxwell presents a documentary on the transition years. "A lot of people think that the transition years are a waste of time, when students tread water and attainment levels stay the same. I think that's nonsense. "Look at me, for example: I'm working very hard as transitional chief executive of Education Scotland, and by the end of the transition years, I hope to negotiate an enormous salary increase based on the fact that I'll be one man doing the work of the two that went before me. If that's not an increase in attainment what is?" Lindsay Paterson joins the debate to make some controversial statements.

9:00pm The Review Show

Kirsty Wark presents an education special. "What's your favourite review?" she asks a nationwide TV audience. "Is it the Donaldson review? Or the McCormac review? Or even the Cameron review? The phone lines open in ten minutes for your votes!" Sadly, voting is declared invalid, as nobody has been able to read the Cameron review, and the programme descends into farce as Lindsay Paterson asks why has nobody asked for a Paterson review yet?

9:30pm Late Night Movie: Miracle on Robertson Street

Janet Brown of SQA dons Kris Kringle's white beard and red outfit to prove that if you believe in something strongly enough then it really will be true. She rings a joyful hand bell and proclaims to all: "Merry Christmas, everyone! National 5 Assessment Criteria will be issued by April 2012! Employers will trust N4 Qualifications! Universities will accept grades gained over two sittings!"

10.50pm GLOW's Christmas Cracker

Bill Maxwell joins GLOW programme director Andrew Brown to pull some party crackers. Unfortunately, Brown always ends up with the short end, and the jokes are typically appalling cracker fare, e.g. "Why did the national digital network cross the road?" Answer: "To see where all the money had gone." Poor stuff.

11:20pm Would I Lie to You?

Mike Russell explains how coming out of Pisa has coincided with a dramatic improvement in Scottish attainment levels. "We've discovered that self- evaluation without having to compare ourselves with other countries has given us the chance to raise the bar significantly. We look forward to cascading similar self-evaluation programmes at a local level."

11:55pm Even Later Night Movie: I'm All Right Jack

Ronnie Smith stars as the union leader who brings all his members out in protest at being sold down the river on pensions - and then realises that all of the supply teachers have left his union in protest at being sold down the river by the EIS.

1:30am Last Word: Poetry Shorts. The Wasteland

Lindsay Paterson presents an educational dramatisation of T.S. Eliot's classic poem. Shot on location at the University of Strathclyde's famously deserted Jordanhill Campus.

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