The BAFTA-winning hit Channel 4 show Educating Greater Manchester is returning to screens for a brand new series tonight, but it’s been a bumpy ride to get here.
Harrop Fold School in Little Hulton is once again opening its doors to the British public.
The first series of the Greater Manchester instalment of the fly-on-the-wall documentary show aired back in 2017, which makes this new series the first time the Educating… programme has returned to the same facility more than once.
Despite the late-2020 air date, filming for this new series actually took place in the school back in 2018, but the episodes were put on hold from hitting screens during what was a tumultuous time for the institution and senior leadership staff.
The school was placed into ‘special measures’ by education standards board Ofsted, and was then being investigated over ‘off-rolling’ allegations suggesting children were removed from the register to make the institution appear like it was achieving better results than it was in reality.
Four members of senior staff were subsequently suspended amid investigations, with Headmaster and show figure-head Drew Povey eventually tendering his resignation shortly after.
Announcing his stepping down from the role formally via Twitter in 2018, Mr Povey said at the time: “It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to tender my resignation as executive head of Harrop Fold School with immediate effect.
“As you are aware, there is an investigation under way.
He continued: “Despite the alleged need for swift action to be taken earlier in the year, the investigation process itself has been allowed to drag on, causing damage to the reputation of the school and to me personally. Parents and pupils are unsettled, and the media are speculating as to what has gone on that is so serious to warrant my suspension and that of three other members of staff.
“I am at a loss to understand the ‘heavy handed’ approach adopted by the council, which appears to have completely ignored the best interests of the students, staff and school.”
Harrop Fold School has since been taken under the wing of the United Learning Academy Trust.
The prospect of the pre-filmed episodes ever making it to screens was all very up in the air, but now, just over two years after the situation unfolded, Channel 4 has given the green light to begin showing the series from this evening.
So, what can viewers expect from the first episode hitting screens this evening?
According to the official Channel 4 preview, the series offers “a real but warm snapshot of life in a British school”.
“There is also a catch-up with some of the much-loved pupils from the previous series: cheeky Vincent, who’s now going into Year 10 and claims he’s a reformed character; and Katelyn, who struggled to focus last time but now wants to get her head down.
“The series also explore the ups and downs through the eyes of some of the teachers.”
“The school’s Year 7s already have a reputation among staff for being the naughtiest yet. There’s Jacob who opens up about his struggles with dyslexia [and] the school is on high alert after a member of the public calls in claiming to have seen a Harrop Fold pupil with a knife, forcing Mr Povey and his staff to instigate bag searches to find the culprit.
“Year 9 Katelyn is desperate to become a midwife but keeps bunking off lessons [and] Mr Povey worries that if she doesn’t knuckle down she will end up missing out on her dream.
“And the staff crack down on pupils at the centre of a lucrative black market at the school, selling chocolate sweets and drinks to their classmates.”
Educating Greater Manchester is airing on Channel 4 tonight at 9:15pm.
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Stockport town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”