Headlines: July 13th, 2004

Teachers’ TV, a new digital television channel will launch early next year and it will form a key part of the Government’s drive for personalised learning. The channel is an innovative method of using television to raise standards in the classroom, and is being funded by the Department for Education and Skills. Teachers’ TV is Europe’s first channel dedicated to those who work in schools.The channel is editorially independent – and will carry programmes on training and development, resources for the classroom and education news. The channel will be on air 24 hours a day, and will be supported by an extensive website and interactive service.

The decision to launch Teachers’ TV follows a pilot study that involved 1,000 teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and governors watching 45 programmes over a period of six weeks. The pilot was assessed by an independent research company, Ipsos-RSL. Results endorsed the channel proposition and the evaluation showed that 90% of viewers said they would watch the channel when it launched and 76% thought that the launch of Teachers’ TV would boost morale among the teaching profession. Other findings of the evaluation showed that 88% of respondents thought that the programmes were effective as a means of delivering training and development materials and 84% believed that the channel would save teachers time by delivering practical ideas, suggestions, tips and resource reviews.

Teachers’ TV will be available on Sky and Freeview and discussions are underway to extend distribution to NTL and Telewest digital cable. The channel will include interactive services, enabling viewers to access further information about programmes, personalise their viewing and highlight what’s relevant to them on the schedule. Some programmes will be made available on demand on the website (www.teachers.tv) where there will also be links to online resources directly related to programmes, lesson plans and Teachers’ TV community services such as forums.