Schools on television: a tale of strife;Chronology;Features amp; Arts

12th November 1999 at 00:00
1977 The BBC's 'Panorama' programme on Faraday School inEaling set alarm bells ringing. The head resigned during transmission but went on to other headships, and the school was later merged.

1980 Radley College got the documentary treatment with 'Public School', but emerged only slightly scathed and with its headmaster intact.

1982 The head of Kingswood comprehensive in Northamptonshire, Brian Tyler, became something of a star. He described the films as 'elegant... often amusing, frequently moving but never quite grasping the essence, the real dilemmas'. Another comprehensive head called the series an educational catastrophe'.

1991 A BBC documentary series about a multi-ethnic London primary in Tower Hamlets, Culloden, brought the education secretary, Kenneth Clarke, and the inspectors running. The 'Daily Mail' went to town on the series, asking "whether the children were actually learning anything in this play-school atmosphere". The head left.

1996 'School', about Francis Combe school in Watford, was another BBC series which - perhaps because we're used to them by now - made the mildest of splashes. Good picture of the wide ability range in the school. Head intact after the programmes.

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