Christmas TV

22nd December 2006 at 00:00
Once again, we unveil our annual selection of festive programmes for a special evening on Scottish Teachers' TV. And it all starts in the late afternoon with...

5pm Can't Cook, Won't Cook

A spokesperson from the Scottish Executive Education Department expresses bewilderment at the shortage of home economics teachers. "Here at Seed, we've spent years running the subject into the ground and suddenly we find ourselves short of home economics teachers. It's beyond us how this came to pass..."

5.30 Peter's School Dinners

Repeat of a programme broadcast earlier this year, as former education minister Peter Peacock launched a healthy eating scheme for Scotland's schools kitchens. He demonstrated what goes into a Scotch Pie - fat, gristle, flavourings, and only 3 per cent meat. "Yeah - and that's why they taste great!" say the kids.

6.00 Henry's Kitchen Nightmares

New education minister Hugh Henry follows up on his prede-cessor's attempts to improve Scotland's eating habits, as he inspects some school kitchens and doesn't like what he finds. "Turkey twizzlers are still on the menu, and hedgehog crisps are still for sale. They'd better get their act together, or we'll be re-naming this show Hugh Henry's F-Word instead!"

6.30 These We Have Loved

A story of a love affair turned sour, as Cosla education leader Charlie Gray laments the treachery shown by Bill McGregor and the Headteachers'

Association of Scotland in their call for 32 local authorities to be abandoned.

7.00 Wildlife Special

Directors of Education - A Dying Breed? Examination of an endangered species. Cosla's chief executive Rory Mair explains why the breed is no longer sustainable, and why his members are now recruiting for Directors of Youth, Community and Lifelong Learning instead ("Educational background welcome, but not really desirable").

Emotional scenes ensue as former directors make their way to their resting-place at the "Elephant's Graveyard", but there are signs of rebirth in the species as the lucky ones find new roles in the system. "Let's hear it for LTS and SQA!"

7.30 Location, Location, Location

Ahead of the Strathclyde educational faculty's move from Jordanhill to a city-centre campus, a spokesperson explains the attractions of taking over a rambling old property in an attractive hilltop setting and then, when the gentle process of decay has set in, selling it for huge financial gain.

Sponsored by Laca Housing.

8.00 18 Up

Documentary looking at the implications of recent proposals to raise the school-leaving age to 18. The First Minister is enthusiastic - "It'll mean 15,000 fewer each year on the Neet register" - while the building trade is euphoric: "Just as the PPP contracts are drying up, we'll need to build extensions to accommodate the extra students. It'll be the Rosla Building experience all over again - but with unlimited funding!" The only people who don't seem too happy are the teachers...

8.30 Film: The Great Escape

Classic adventure. Ten plucky Scottish schoolteachers are imprisoned by punishment referrals, whole-school strategy documents, formative assessment policies and blue-sky thinking on "the effects on teaching and learning of multiple intelligences". A daring escape-plan is hatched as they shred every document in the staffroom and write their resignation letters. In a nail-biting conclusion, they realise they've rid themselves of all barriers to effective learning and are suddenly free to teach again.

9.45 Teaching Oscars 2006

A heart-warming ceremony live from the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, where this year's Scottish Teacher of the Year Award recipients collect their prizes.

Coverage of the Scottish Teachers Against Awards demonstration outside the Usher Hall can be seen on Digital Channel 666.

10.00 What's In a Name?

A spokesperson from Learning and Teaching Scotland explains the difference between the Scottish Schools Digital Network and its new name, Glow.

"SSDN was a digital network that was going to cost pound;38m and deliver something that nobody knew how to use. "But with Glow, we're going to have a digital network costing pound;38m, delivering something that nobody knows how to use - and we've paid another pound;5m to the consultants."

10.30 Play for Today: An Inspector Doesn't Call

Reworking of the JB Priestley classic. Disquiet emerges as a TESS report reveals that more than 300 schools have not been inspected since the 1980s.

One school declares it has nothing to fear from an inspection: "We're up to date with curricular developments and are ready to implement Munn and Dunning whenever the Secretary of State for Scotland gives us the go-ahead."

11.00 Film: The Incredible Journey - A Curriculum for Excellence

Starring chief HMIE Graham Donaldson, as he explains how his report A Journey to Excellence is proving to be truly incredible: "Although we need more leadership, and some schools have variable quality, every education sector in Scotland appears to be performing very well." "Tell that to the Marines!" scoffs TESS columnist Marj Adams "- and then to the teachers and the parents!"

1AM Late Call

SQA chief Janet Brown asks us to join her in prayer for old friends who are lonely or ill at this time of year. "In particular," she intones, "let us remember Standard grades, which have gone through a long illness and are moving ever closer to death. At times like these, it makes all of us wonder whether euthanasia is a sensible option..."

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