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Video tuned into teachers' telly

School staff are to be offered discounts on the latest digital video recorders to encourage them to watch Teachers' TV.

The government-funded television channel is due to begin broadcasting 24 hours a day from January 2005 and will show programmes to help teachers and governors improve their work.

The Department for Education and Skills is planning to offer teachers discounts on a new kind of personal video recorder (PVR), which receives free digital channels and automatically records any programmes which might interest its owner.

Andrew Bethell, director of programmes for Teachers' TV, said the gadgets would let teachers watch the channel's programmes whenever they wanted.

"They won't have the nightmare of setting the video," he said.

It is unclear what discount the Government will provide for the devices, which became available in the shops this month for more than pound;200.

Typical programmes will include Answer That, in which teachers deal with angry parents played by actors, and Screaming Jelly Babies, a programme about creative science lessons.

The Government has pledged annual funding of pound;20 million, but ministers stress that the channel will be editorially independent.

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