The Secret Teacher airs Thursdays at 9pm on Channel 4
It is no secret that many of Britain’s greatest entrepreneurs struggled at school – labelled as failures by the educational system, their enormous potential was outshone by those achieving more academically.
Now, in a new four-part Channel 4 series, a cast of four of the UK’s most successful business owners – all of whom struggled at school – want to give others the helping hand they never had so they’re going undercover as school support staff in The Secret Teacher.
Each of the 4 x 60’ episodes will focus on a new member of school support staff joining a different state secondary school in a variety of locations across the country, however, unbeknownst to the students and nearly all the staff; they will have no idea just who the new member of the team is.
Our entrepreneurs will have an authentic taste of what it means to take on one of the UK’s most challenging, yet rewarding professions by immersing themselves fully in each of our four schools. From the nerves that come with stepping into a rowdy classroom for the first time to overseeing detention and working with those students who need extra support, they’ll gradually identify which of the students they want to help before revealing their identity in what could be a life-changing finale. Help from the business mentors could come in any form, be it a bursary to continue their studies after school, assistance with setting up their own business, or even the offer of a guaranteed job in their organisation.
Within the series, we’ll also explore the complexities of an education system on its knees – excessive workloads are being demanded from teachers, children with additional learning needs are getting less support, teaching assistants are being asked to backfill teacher roles and some of the worst hit schools can’t afford basic equipment. With cuts of nearly £3bn, class sizes have increased and staff numbers are plummeting. We’ll hear from teachers who say things have never been tougher and even admit we are failing some kids in school.
The Secret Teacher was commissioned by Gilly Greenslade, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment. The 4 x 60’ series is a Twofour production and the Executive Producers are David Clews and Andrew Mackenzie. The Series Producer is Naomi Templeton and the Series Director is Greg Lander Williams.