Radley College: Public School, 1980
A BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary series about Radley College, a public boarding school for boys aged 13-18 located in Oxfordshire. The programme offers an insight into Radley’s traditions, idiosyncracies, vocabulary, and day-to-day life. For the other parts of this documentary, follow this link.
Kingswood: A Comprehensive School, 1982
In 1982, a BBC series followed the staff and pupils of Kingswood school, a medium-sized comprehensive school in the unemployment blackspot of Corby, Northamptonshire. This documentary was made as a pseudo sequel to Public School (1980) which featured Radley School [shown above]. The format was the same; a fly-on-the-wall documentary capturing as many aspects of school life as naturally as possible.
A Beverley High School Day, 1984
This school-made anniversary film shows a day in the life of Beverley High School for Girls, a secondary school in Beverley about 10 miles north of the city of Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The school was established in 1908 and has remained an all-girls school, going from grammar to comprehensive in 1973. We first see the Headteacher addressing the morning assembly and directing hymns. Followed by a trip to the tuck shop, hockey practice, and the school dinner service. The girls nervously eye the camera as it pans around the school hall at lunch time. Cookery lessons show practical work with labour-saving devices and jazzy aprons, but also a theory lesson reviewing the dietary requirements of what they are making. The footage is provided on YouTube by East Riding Archives & Local Studies Service, archival reference SL245 14 8.
Poor Man’s Eton, 1989
This BBC documentary follows the only inner London Education Authority boarding school, in a Suffolk country house.
Back in Time for School, the 1980s
This BBC2 series, first broadcast in 2019, took a group present-day of secondary school kids from the West Midlands (and their teachers) ‘back in time’ to experience education across the decades. In this episode on the 1980s, the pupils undergo a shift into a more competitive and disciplined school culture. They also use robots, try out rhythmic gymnastics, and learn about entering the depressed youth labour market of Thatcher’s Britain after leaving school.