Teachers TV

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Teachers TV
Teachers TV logo.png
Teacher's TV Logo
Launched 8 February 2005

TV: 31 August 2010

Web: 29 April 2011
Owned by Education Digital Management Limited
Audience share N/A
Website www.teachers.tv
Freeview Channel 88
(16:00-18:00 only) ceased broadcasting on 21 July 2010
Sky Channel 880
Freesat Channel 650
Virgin Media Channel 240 (and through On Demand)

Teachers TV was a website and former free-to-air distance education television channel which provided video and support materials for those who work in education in the UK, including teachers, school leaders, governors, teacher trainers, student teachers and support staff.

Its aims included raising educational standards, saving the workforce time, and boosting professional development. It also provides classroom resources and all content is available to watch or download for free. Further professional and practical help is on hand from its active online community. The service was launched on 8 February 2005, and is managed by Education Digital Management Ltd, and funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The website was co-owned by Ten Alps (75%) and ITN (25%).[1]

There was general programming too, including a weekly half-hour news programme, documentaries on the educational issues and controversies of the day, and guidance on topics such as behaviour management.

It covered all National Curriculum subjects, as well as specialist programmes for headteachers, managers, newly qualified teachers (NQT), teaching assistants (TA), and governors. It also had an educational news service supplied by ITN.

Popular videos include behaviour experts John Bayley, Sue Cowley and The Scary Guy, as well as real teachers and other school workers who show hands-on examples of good practice.

While it was funded by the DCSF, Teachers TV was editorially independent of government. This was a requirement of the Communications Act 2003 and Ofcom, the regulator for the UK communications industries. To ensure accountability for its funding, a governance process has been established, managed by the Teachers TV Board of Governors.

In March 2010, Ed Balls, then Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) axed the broadcast deals in place with Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media in a bid to save the channel around £1m in carriage costs annually.[2] It closed on Freeview first on 21 July and Freesat, Sky and Virgin followed on 31 August 2010.[3] Online availability was unaffected by the change.

On 15 October 2010, Ten Alps announced that the Department for Education was cancelling the £10m annual Teachers TV contract from April 2011.[1] The contract was due to run until 2013, but the government invoked a six-month break clause. The service had 400,000 registered users. It provided 783,000 training day sessions online in 2009 and claims it had saved schools an estimated £235m.[4]

The Ten Alps TV & Education chief executive, Alex Connock said the site had great potential as a subscription business and could also be adapted for international students and university-level training. It already carries some advertising, but sponsorship had been ruled out under the current contract.[1]

‘Teachers’ TV’ (TTV) was a government-funded, ‘advertisement-aided’ programme for teachers. Initially an online TV channel, then just a web vehicle for specific professional training- Continuous Professional Development, or CPD, via mainly video experiences across all curricula, age groups and other school based issues, specifically aimed at teachers. It was run by a highly professional group of individuals, at extremely high costs, managed by Ten Alps.

Deemed ‘successful’, 'Teachers' TV' gained a wide reaching audience of teachers, heads, assistants and Governors, with over 3,500 best practice videos and further raw material for up to 6,000 with investment into new content regularly, but high. Government funding was withdrawn April 2011, Teachers TV ceased to exist, but all the content was made available for those organisations that would be able to provide free access to all the material for teachers nationally in the UK.

In 2011 a number of providers[5] gained a licence from the Department for Education to distribute the Teachers TV videos. Only those videos which were commissioned by the Teachers TV service are available under the terms of the licence.

2011 saw the launch of Teaching Channel, a US initiative to deliver professional development videos for teachers over the Internet, public television, cable and other digital outlets.[6]


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