School from hell hits TV

12th August 2005 at 01:00
A school-based cartoon likely to cause more controversy than South Park and Teachers combined begins broadcasts next week. Bromwell High is set in a run-down south London comprehensive and features a cast of swearing teenagers and depressed teachers.

The Channel 4 programme contains plentiful jokes about sex and drugs, as well as scenes where pupils complain that "tolerance is for gays" and consider defecating on a teacher's car. But it is also sharply satirical about New Labour education initiatives.

One episode appears to lampoon workforce reforms, with the head replacing all his staff with monkeys, except for the PE teacher. "The unions don't like it when you replace teachers with monkeys," remarks a Department for Education and Skills official. "Especially when they get a better Ofsted report."

Bromwell high is rebuilt using sponsorship from the Albanian Fried Chicken company, only for pupils to discover that the curriculum has been replaced by a series of chicken-related subjects.

The cartoon has already attracted the ire of the television watchdog Mediawatch. It is also likely to upset more conservative members of teachers' unions. The series is written by the team behind Goodness Gracious Me.

Bromwell High begins August19 on Channel 4 at 11.20pm

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