What, no ticket to the media ball?

14th October 2005 at 01:00
What better way to spend an evening after a hard day at the chalkface than opening a bottle of red, ordering in a pizza the size of a small country and settling down with the one you love to watch Teachers' TV?

Sit back in amazement as NQTs plan a key stage 3 learning event. Purr with delight as a couple of heads (yes, talking heads) talk you through the dynamics of their senior management team. OK, it's easy to mock. In fact, the channel is terribly worthy and not entirely dull. And good luck to them.

But, once again, we in FE are the poor relations. It's not enough that we've been left behind in the pay league - Del Boy's Reliant Robin to their GTI.

Now teachers get their own TV channel and the Cinderella that is FE doesn't get an invitation for the media ball. We are the Johnny No-mates of the education system; the Millwall FC ("no one likes uswe don't care") of the learning league.

But hang on; not so fast. Surely there is scope for an FE channel? We know that the average college has more farces than the West End, and that we are blessed with some of the greatest comedians in the land.

In the remote possibility that a producer is out there looking for some ideas, here are a few: 18.00 The Magic Roundabout. A college re-organises its senior management structure on a weekly basis. See how they spin.

18.30 Lecturer Hut Block 9: A melodrama featuring a young female lecturer and her hairdressing students. You can cut the tension with a pair of scissors.

19.00 A Brief History of Timetabling. The time-space continuum challenged by a typical FE timetable. A man can be in two places at one time.

19.30 World at War. Two heads of department fight over territory (an office near to the principal). It soon escalates into a global conflict.

20.00 Match of the Day. Watch students light up behind the bike shed. Who will strike the best match?

21.00 Antiques Roadshow: a look inside the typical FE staffroom. How much are they worth?

21.30 University Challenge. Students taunt staff teaching on HE programmes:

"you'd never get a job in a uni".

22.00 An Inspector Calls. Classic drama featuring Ofsted Inspector thrown into a well by crazed FE teachers. He calls, but no one can hear him.

23.00 Great Expectations: Dickens' masterpiece adapted for contemporary FE staff: yes, you can work that contract.

All you need is a bit of imagination. BAFTAs, here we come!

Ian Chapman is a lecturer in a London FE college

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