On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

1st November 2013 at 00:00
This week: Educating Yorkshire

As headteacher Jonny Mitchell said his goodbyes to the students leaving Thornhill Community Academy, we longed for just a couple more hours in their company.

But it wasn't to be. The eight episodes of fly-on-the wall documentary Educating Yorkshire were up, and so was our time in the company of the staff and students of this state school tucked away in an unglamorous part of the North of England.

Never more would we see Mr Burton strutting about in his pointed brown brogues. Never more would we witness Mr Steer's joy at his seemingly most hopeless students scraping a grade C in their maths exams. Ms Marsden, a mother figure to one and all, would no longer provide that midweek comfort we all craved.

The series was not universally praised in the press but it provided a vital insight into the work of the ordinary teacher. While headlines talk of access to Oxford and Cambridge universities, many teachers are losing sleep over the difference between grades C and D and their students' chances of getting to sixth-form college.

The end of a reality show we are particularly attached to can feel like a small death. A period of mourning must ensue - and even a DVD reliving the incredible make-up of some of the girls might not be enough to assuage our grief.

So, get thee to the Naughty Step, makers of Educating Yorkshire. And don't come off it until you've filmed another series.

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