Meaty viewing and no turkeys

16th December 2005 at 00:00
For those who find Teachers' TV a bit biased towards the English educational system, TES Scotland is delighted to announce its own exclusive plans for a Scottish version, to be broadcast for a trial period over the festive season

3pm All Our Yesterdays

A look back at the archives of years gone by, examining some of the quaint and outdated educational theories of yesteryear.

First, the 1950s and 60s, as the use of phonics is gaining ground for teaching children to read. Then it is fast forward to the 1980s, when the Conservative government lays out controversial plans that will allow schools to opt out of local authority control.

3.30 Education Today

An examination of today's most forward-looking educational theories.

First, it's the amazing success being achieved through the innovatory use of phonics for teaching children to read. Then we examine the Labour government's controversial plans that will allow schools to opt out of local authority control after they repealed the first set of legislation and made all opted-out schools come under local authority control in the late 1990s.

4.00 Antiques Roadshow

Introduced by Mary Warnock and recorded in the attractive grounds of Clermiston Gardens.

A fascinating look at the totemic policies of bygone eras as a teacher submits a copy of the 1976 Warnock Report that he's found in his loft, and asks, "Is it worth anything today?"

"Not really," says Lady Warnock as she leafs through the dusty pages. "I mean, all this stuff about inclusion into mainstream education of every child with every kind of educational support needs would cause an uproar in these more enlightened times. Imagine the problems of severely disturbed children disrupting lessons. Thank goodness we've moved on to realise that it was really a bit over the top, as I explained recently in my GTC Scotland lecture."

4.45 Play Your Cards Right (2005 Version)

Anton Colella is the guest presenter on this "examination upgrades" edition of the popular quiz show.

Our genial host asks the contestants the big question: "If you miss your examination what are your chances of an upgrade? Firstly, what are your chances in an independent school or a large comprehensive in a leafy suburb?" "Higher!" the audience shouts excitedly."And what if you're in a mid-size comprehensive or a small rural school?" "Lower!" they scoff disparagingly."And finally," he builds them up to a climax, "what are your chances if you're in a grotty comprehensive that's about to close due to falling rolls?" "Bugger all!" they guffaw.

This programme may be cancelled due to an SQA interdict.

5.15 Gordon Ramsay's F Word

Gordon Ramsay advises teachers whose pupils endlessly use the F word to insult them.

"In my view," he explains, "the best way to deal with kids who tell teachers to eff off is for the teachers to tell the kids to eff off. Kids respond to adults who stand up for themselves against effin' bullies. It's the only way to get them to effin' respect you."

5.45 A Question of Sport

An anxious parent asks a panel from SportScotland: "Why, despite having Pounds 24 million pounds spent on appointing school sports co-ordinators since last January, has my Primary 7 son never had a competitive game of football during his entire school career?"

6.15 45 Up

The latest instalment of this award-winning documentary series. Tonight's episode focuses on "Lucky Jack", a cheeky chappie misbehaving during that original black-and-white episode 40 years ago when we took the kids to Calderpark Zoo, and an even cheekier chap some 20 years later when he was an up-and-coming maths teacher. At the age of 40, he was in charge of the country's education policy, and in this episode he's risen even higher.

As the producer comments at the end of the programme: "Give me a child until he is seven - and these days, frankly, you wouldn't believe what he can achieve with the right spin doctors."

7.00 The Money Programme: Assessment is for Earning

An adviser who's taken early retirement explains how easy it is to make money as an educational consultant.

"It's great," he enthuses. "I've got a lump sum, a handsome pension, and can charge pound;500 a day for giving out the same old spiel to a different audience every day on why they should be using formative assessment instead of summative assessment. And best of all, I don't have to implement any of it myself."

7.30 Film: The Sting

An educational version of the famous Robert Redford movie, wherein a lot of secret information changes hands between a small group of people playing for high-money stakes in a public-private partnership schools contract up for grabs in a secret location.

8.45 Champions' League

A round-up of today's newspaper reports that publish information about national assessments, lifted blind under the Freedom of Information Act and then re-presented as school league tables.

Includes an interview with top Glasgow manager Ronnie O'Connor, furiously defending his team's lowly league position, which he doesn't accept, anyway.

9.15 In Search of Shakespeare

The SQA English examinations team goes in search of answers on Shakespeare questions in Higher English papers. Alas, the numbers are in serious decline.

"But at least the Scottish literature squad should be happy," soothes an examiner. "We've got more Grassic Gibbon answers than we want in 100 years!"

9.45 Strictly Come Marking

Peter Peacock replaces Bruce Forsyth, while Pamela Munn is the new-look Tess Daly as they explain how schools should really be assessed.

"We're going to use random sampling," Mr Peacock explains, "in order to give an accurate picture of Scottish education. League tables based on raw national testing results will no longer be seen as reliable, because it's only low-grade journalists who are gathering this information. Instead, we're going to pay educationists an enormous sum to conduct the research.

"We'll ask a few carefully selected schools, in carefully selected 'random areas', for their test results, and then extrapolate those findings to give a nationwide picture. We fully expect to discover that we're doing a great job!

"To confirm our findings, we'll have a live TV phone-in, where parents can call to tell us whether they think our schools are 'Good', 'Very Good' or 'Excellent'."

10.15 Countdown to Crisis

Scottish maths standards are lower than ever before! Chief Inspector Graham Donaldson explains that the figures just don't add up: there are maths weaknesses in more than 40 per cent of Scottish schools and we are set to slip to the bottom of international league tables for maths within the next five years.

10.30 Come On and Celebrate!

A Christmas special. This documentary celebrates maths teaching in Scotland.

In an international survey, maths achievements of Scottish pupils between 8 and 14 were ranked in the top 25 per cent. This programme examines the reasons behind the success - and why the Scottish Executive can't employ the same PR company that punted this programme, to work with HMIE as well.

11.00 Wrestling

The latest bouts from WWFE, the World Wrestling Federation Education Championship, "Who Really Speaks For Parents?".

Judith Gillespie takes on Caroline Vass in a showdown between the Scottish School Boards Association and the Scottish Parent Teacher Council. Or is it the other way round?

This programme contains claims, outrageous counter-claims and some (apparent) violence. Unsuitable for children.

11.55 Late Film: The China Syndrome

An educational reworking of the nuclear power-plant thriller.

Two investigative journalists look for the truth behind claims by the SQA that they are about to burst onto the Chinese market and deliver currency-earning examinations for the masses.

"Doom-mongers have warned of the dangers of our policy, but I assure you that taking our exams to China is perfectly safe," says Anton Colella, in the role of the power-plant chief.

Others think a catastrophic meltdown might be imminent, as 30 million exam papers are stolen from a slow boat. Explosive final scenes starring Jack McConnell as the plant foreman.

1.30am Late Call

Standard grades - not yet gone, and not yet forgotten.

Spinning: forget Bruce Forsyth as Peter Peacock and Pamela Munn, the new-look Tess Daly,sidestep leaguetable issues at 9.45pm

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today