30th November 2007 at 00:00
Once, education shaped children's television. Today, it seems, figures from children's television are set on shaping education.

Last week, Phil Redmond, the creator of cult series Grange Hill called for the national curriculum to be scrapped.

Not to be outdone, Floella Benjamin, the former Play School presenter, demanded that children be taught basic moral values, such as discipline, respect and hard work.

"Schools and colleges have to put more emphasis on discipline and the teaching of morality, integrity and empathy, giving students a vision of their future and inspiring them to learn," she said.

Meanwhile Lewis Bronze, a former Blue Peter editor, took on the BBC by launching Espresso Education, a bank of online video clips that are closely tied into the national curriculum.

Alex Micklewright (above), of ITN, will host the service's weekly online news bulletins. Mr Bronze heralded him as the next celebrity of secondary schools - and he should know, having created stars such as Anthea Turner.

His newest protege said he was looking forward to working on the project. "At school, it was always the videos and films that stuck in my head," said Mr Micklewright, 28.

He also joked that he was already familiar with being mobbed by teenage girls. "It's something that's happened for a long time," he said.

All of which goes to show that celebrity culture is in no danger of loosening its grip on our schools.

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