back to top

41 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The "Educating Yorkshire" Series

Behind the scenes of Educating Essex, Yorkshire, The East End, and Cardiff.

Posted on

1. For each series, the camera crew spend around six weeks observing the school they're in before they start filming.

2. They then film for an intensive period of seven weeks, and go back to film key events (like GCSE results day) over the course of a year.

3. Over the intensive filming period, there are around 75 cameras and 90 microphones set up around the school.

4. A few people, including all members of staff, have to wear individual microphones all day.

5. Producers meet with the families of all featured pupils and employ psychologists who assess whether it is appropriate for them to appear on the show. These psychologists continue to offer support after the show has aired.

6. Production staff have at least one meeting with the head teacher every day throughout the filming period.

7. In every series after the first, head teachers have met with previous teachers who've taken part on the show to find out what it's really like.


8. The toilets in Passmores Academy are cleaned four times a day.

9. During the filming process, head teacher Mr Goddard asked producers to focus on the school's non-troublesome kids who just get on with it for one episode. But he was told it wouldn't be interesting.

10. Mr Goddard received 2,500 emails after the first episode aired.

11. He was later featured in Grazia's weekly "Chart Of Lust".

12. Deputy head teacher Mr Drew wanted Passmores to do a second series of the show, but Mr Goddard didn't.

13. But Mr Drew did go on to star in another Channel 4 series: Mr Drew's School For Boys, which saw him lead an intensive summer school for boys with behavioral problems.

14. Mr Drew has now left Passmores to become the head teacher of another school in Essex.

15. Following the series, head teacher Mr Mitchell received numerous marriage proposals from the public.

6. He also appeared in Heat's "Man Watch".

17. But he turned down an appearance on Loose Women.

18. Only 16 of Thornhill Community Academy's 747 pupils asked not to be involved. And fewer than 40 parents requested that their children just appear in the show's background.

19. There was a year between the producers' first phone call with Mr Mitchell and the first day of filming.

20. Mr Mitchell is moving to The Co-Operative Academy in Leeds to become their head teacher in June.

21. Mushy's mum, dad, and sister all cried watching the scene in which English teacher Mr Burton got him to speak without a stammer by making him listen to music at the same time, a method he learned from The King's Speech.

22. Pupils were handed tissues as they went into the assembly in which Mushy gave a speech.

23. After the show aired, Colin Firth wrote him a letter.

24. Speaking of the incident, Mushy said, "I thought Mr Burton was a genius until he lent me The King's Speech afterwards, and then I realised he just copied that other man!"

25. He has been given his own Channel 4 show called Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice. In it, he helps other students deal with their speech impediments.

26. Mr Burton says that watching the show taught him that he should buy bigger shirts and cut his hair.


27. When they were choosing where to film, producers spoke to 100 schools, visited 40, and approached 20. Almost all the head teachers said no.

28. Mr Bispham decided to become a teacher and applied to Frederick Bremer's English department the day after he saw Educating Essex on TV.

29. Frederick Bremer School's head teacher Ms Smith says she had to watch the first episode three times before she could understand what was going on, because she was in shock at what her own voice sounded like.

30. She said that watching the show helped her pupils understand how difficult their teacher's jobs are.

31. Staff dressed more smartly for the first few days of filming.

32. Pupils said they missed the cameras when they went.

33. The school saw an increase in applications since appearing on TV.

34. Head teacher Mrs Ballard says she has watched the clip of Mushy overcoming his stammer on Educating Yorkshire at least 50 times, and showed it in assembly.

35. But when she was first approached by producers about Willows High School appearing in the show, she declined. A month later they approached her again and she agreed to take part.

36. Willows students said that taking part in the series felt like being on Big Brother.

37. When she first moved to the area, Mrs Ballard rented a room on an estate where many of her students live so she could understand where they come from.

38. She has recently been named Headteacher Of The Year.

39. But she has moved to Rye Academy on the Isle of White so she can be closer to her family.

40. Former deputy head Mr Norman has taken over her position.

41. When the show aired, Maths teacher Mr Hennessey was so nervous about how he'd come across that he watched it alone in the kitchen with a drink, while his wife, three kids, and 20 friends watched it in the living room.