Educating Cardiff: Channel 4 heads to Wales for its next series

The award-winning fly-on-the-wall documentary series is headed west of the border

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Educating the East End has only recently finished, but Channel 4 already have another location for the next series of the popular documentary strand – Educating Cardiff, anyone? 

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Yes, the fly-on-the-wall Educating series is heading over the Severn Bridge to follow the teachers and pupils of Willows High School in south-east Cardiff (with filming already underway, according to WalesOnline).

Willows High School school was rated “unsatisfactory” by education watchdog Estyn back in 2012, but the arrival of new head teacher Joy Ballard in 2011 brought about a change in the school’s fortunes including improved GCSE results.

Speaking of her decision to take part in the programme, Mrs Ballard said: “We were delighted when we were asked to take part in the fourth series.

“Willows has been on an incredible journey over the past three years and has been transformed from one of the worst performing schools in the country to a school that we are very proud of.” 

The first “Educating” series followed the fortunes of Passmores Academy in Essex, and ran for seven episodes in 2011. After winning a Bafta the series moved to Thornhill Community Academy in Yorkshire for nine episodes in 2013, where the series won yet more awards including the Radio Times Readers’ Choice at the Grierson Awards. In September, the latest series Educating the East End began, with 2.2 million viewers tuning in to the first episode.

“We’re thrilled to be heading to Wales and Willows High for the fourth instalment of one of our best-loved series,” said Channel 4 commissioning editor David Brindley. “This ‘Educating…’ promises to unearth more inspirational, humorous and moving stories from the corridors of this characterful Cardiff school.”

David Clews from production company TwoFour added: “You can really feel the charm and character of the place as soon as you walk through the gates and start talking to the students. We really are excited about making Educating in Wales.”

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The new Educating series will air on Channel 4 in autumn 2015