That'll Teach 'Em

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That'll Teach 'Em
Genre Documentary series
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
Running time 60 minutes (including advertisements)
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 576i (PAL)
Original release 2003 – 2006
External links

That'll Teach 'Em is a British reality television documentary series produced by Twenty Twenty Television for the Channel 4 network in the United Kingdom.


Each series follows around 30 teenage students as they are taken back to a 1950s/1960s style British boarding school. The show sets out to analyse whether the standards that were integral to the school life of the time helped to produce better exam results, to the current GCSE results and to compare certain contemporary educational methods with modern ones (e.g. vocational vs. academic focus for the less "gifted").

As part of the experience, the participants are expected to board at a traditional school house, abiding by strict discipline, adopting to 1950s diet and following a strict uniform dress code.

After four weeks, the students then take their final exams, produced to the same standard as contemporary GCE O Levels.

There were three series of the show, the first airing in 2003 (recreating a 1950s grammar school and featuring academically high-achieving pupils), the second in 2004 (a 1960s secondary modern and the academically average or poor) and the third and final series in 2006 (a 1950s grammar school again, this time focusing on science and with single-sex classes).

For the third series, a spin-off series, That'll Test 'Em, aired on More4 after the main programme. It saw pupils featured in the That'll Teach 'Em episode just aired being quizzed in competition with their parents on topics that they should have known well after their time in 1950s education.

International adaptations and distribution[edit]

The format has been adapted in France, Spain, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and Chile. The international rights are distributed by DRG.

Country Title TV channel Seasons Audience
 France Le pensionnat M6 3 3 971 375 (17,22%)
 Chile N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Norway Internatet (Feriekolonien) TV Norge 1 400 000
 Belgium Retour au pensionnat SBS and VTM 2 N/A
 Netherlands N/A RTL 1 N/A
 Spain Curso del 63
Curso del 73
Antena 3
2 3 577 000 (19,4%)
427 200 (2,4%)
 Germany Die harte Schule der 50er Jahre ZDF 1 N/A
 Italy Il collegio Rai 2 2 2 062 500 (7,88%)

Series 1[edit]

The first series of the show was filmed over 4 weeks in June, 2003, at the RGS High Wycombe. It featured 15 boys and 15 girls who had just sat their GCSEs.

Boys Girls
Harry Elgood Clare Dery
Nic Hall Seraphina Evans
Colum Hughes Nichola Greenhalgh
Freddie Hutchins Henrietta Haines
Tom Jewell Victoria Julien
Richard Mylles Hina Khan
Rajay Naik Kathryn McGeough
Blaine Pike Holly McGuire
Ryan Smithson Emma Pinchbeck
Andrew Stratton Harriet Rykens
Matthew Sweeney Hannah Smith
Ali Unwin Frances Weaver
Simon Waller Tarot Wells
Andy Walne Rebecca Woodward
Joe McCready* Nadia Freeman

*Denotes was expelled during the series


External links[edit]