Miss Dudley thought she could help Loretta - so she moved into her home

22nd October 2010 at 01:00

For most teachers, spending almost every waking hour with their pupils would be their worst nightmare.

But not for brave Hannah Dudley, who spent an entire week with one of her school's most disruptive children as part of a one-off BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary to be broadcast next week.

Wait Till Your Teacher Gets Home! sets out to see if teachers can turn children's lives around if they are given extraordinary access to them and their family both after and before school.

It focuses on Miss Dudley, a subject leader at Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, and whether she can transform the domestic life of 14-year-old Loretta Cook, one of her most troublesome pupils, and her family.

Programme-makers hope that the show will prove successful and will be recommissioned as a series.

The pilot documents Miss Dudley's experiences in Loretta's home and how both she and her pupil are changed by it.

"I'm sure people thought I was a little bit crazy to take this on, but I'd rather give it a go and it not work than to say I didn't try," Miss Dudley tells viewers. "I've never been in this situation, I've never been in a pupil's family home - we are trained for the classroom, not this environment."

By the end of the programme, in which she deals with discipline and timetabling as well as much more complex domestic issues, Miss Dudley is converted. "I wish all children who need a teacher in their home could have this opportunity; the change in a week has been massive," she says.

"It's so useful for us to know what's going on at home and I will try to remember that in each lesson. Loretta has never been this proud of herself and I want her to remember that feeling."

Speaking after the completion of the programme, Plantsbrook School head Tracy Campbell was full of praise for Miss Dudley.

"She went beyond the call of duty, as many would because all teachers do their job because they care about children," she told The TES.

"She found it a difficult programme to make, the demands on her were quite tough and this perhaps didn't come across all the time. For example, one conversation between her and Loretta looked like it lasted 30 seconds, when in fact it went on for three hours."

The programme will be screened on BBC3 at 9pm on Thursday, October 28.

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