Wilshaw warns teachers against reality TV school shows

The BBC is reporting that Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned head teachers they should refuse to take part in television reality shows.

Speaking to the ASCL head teachers’ conference, he says such programmes give a “distorted” impression of modern state schools.

Sir Michael said such shows “provide great TV but little reality”.

“All they do is reinforce the caricatures of comprehensive schools,” said the Ofsted boss.

“They inevitably focus on the sensational, at the cost of presenting a balanced picture of what goes on in our schools,” Sir Michael told head teachers at their annual conference in Birmingham.

“The spotlight always falls on the lippy kid and the newly qualified teacher in trouble and gives a distorted view of our state system. 

“All they do is reinforce the caricatures of comprehensive schools promoted by those who don’t understand them, would like to get rid of them and return to selection.”

…This will be Sir Michael’s last speech to this annual gathering of head teachers, before he steps down as chief inspector later this year.

He said that if he had been “challenging and outspoken” it had been because of his determination to raise standards in schools, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“I am desperate to see standards rising in all our schools and for every child to have the chance of a decent education that will set them up for life in an increasingly uncertain and competitive world,” said Sir Michael…

More at: Wilshaw warns teachers against reality TV school shows


It is not the first time Sir Michael has made comments like this and previously we had this response in the form of a guest post from Jenny Smith, the head in the Educating the East End series: Guest post: Setting the record straight about schools on TV (by the ‘Educating the East End’ head)

What do you think of the arguments made here and also of the comments from Sir Michael at the end over his determination to improve the situation for disadvantaged children?

Please give us your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. Davis77Alex

    SchoolsImprove More desperation from Wilshaw. harder to lie to the public and pretend everything is fine when students’ behaviour is on TV

  2. I accept TV reality shows such as ‘Educating…’ are edited.  But they aren’t the caricatures that Wilshaw claims.  The ‘Educating…’ series showed the hard work, dedication and frustration which happens in schools.  And heads who’ve been involved say it’s helped recruitment.
    That’s not to say all such shows are positive.  The Chinese experiment show last year was poor – setting up a spurious experiment, accompanying every appearance of the school’s head with music from The Longest Day (he was the comic interlude, obviously).

  3. TW

    Perhaps he hopes to become a radio shock jock to continue all his good work of slagging off schools and teachers as apparently he knows best.

  4. MikesuziNZ

    SchoolsImprove Don’t know too many teachers that aren’t. But lets be more understanding and its not as simple as more and harder tests.

  5. davew2101969

    SchoolsImprove set them up for life. So that, one day, they to can be teachers and be bullied, forced to work ridiculous hours. On it goes.

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