The ‘Educating’ series from Channel 4 has been a fascinating insight into schools across England and Wales and the upcoming ‘Educating Greater Manchester’ is no different. This is the fifth school to feature in the fly on the classroom wall series and the story is by now familiar to viewers – teachers going the extra mile for students who often stretch patience to the limit, but also make the job worthwhile.
This time the school is Harrop Fold in Little Hulton, Salford, once regarded as one of the worst in the country with two police officers of its own (they were stationed on site). Those times have changed and now the school is judged by Ofsted as being “good with outstanding features”.
If schools should be like one big family, this one is off to a head start (ouch!) as the man in charge, Drew Povey, is supported on site by his two brothers – Ross, who is one of his deputies, and Ben, who is one of the behaviour team. The school is a vibrant place and one where tolerance and the right to be different are proudly espoused.
The first episode celebrates the friendship between Year 7 students Rani, who recently arrived from Syria, and Jack, who invites his new Muslim friend home for pizza – because in this series, we follow pupils beyond the school gates and into their home lives. Rani is keen to learn English as quickly as he can and demonstrates his new-found proficiency by writing a (misspelt) four-letter word on a dirty white van in the playground. There have to be consequences…
You can find out more about the programme by going on the Channel 4 website. The first episode airs on Thursday 31 August at 8 pm.