Educating Essex (7 x 60′) – Documentary series that reveals what life is really like for pupils and teachers in an English secondary school.
With 65 fixed cameras capturing every detail of life in the school – from the corridors to the canteen, the headteacher’s office to the detention hall – the series follows a group of final year students, and the staff who teach them, as they face the most important year in their education: taking their GCSEs.
Educating Essex has unprecedented access to a successful school in a challenging area: Passmores School in Harlow, Essex. The school has just been awarded Academy status and is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – last year 67% of students at the school achieved the equivalent of five or more GCSEs at grades A* – C.
At a time when school leavers face one of the most uncertain futures in decades, the pressure to get the qualifications needed to succeed is greater than ever.
And as debate rages about a ‘lost generation’ and the end of deference, teachers face new challenges to maintain discipline and give the children in their care the best start possible, from ever-present mobile phones to the fallouts from social media and cyber-harassment.
But while technology may have changed, the teenagers grapple with universal issues – fitting in, falling in and out of love and learning to become adults.
Channel: Channel 4
Producer: TwoFour Broadcast
TX: September 2011
Source: Channel 4