Channel 4 has a commitment to providing educational content that resonates with a core audience of 14 - 19 year olds. From 2014, the Education Department will have a greater focus on commissioning content for television to maximise its reach with key audience - content will be delivered on Channel 4, E4 and 4oD. Popular and entertaining programming will be at the heart of our strategy. This will be complemented by a range of online educational commissions supporting shows with strong teen appeal.
The DNA of Channel 4 Education programming should be 'life-skills' subjects that bridge the knowledge gap that is left between what schools teach and what parents teach. We aim to tackle themes that relate to the transition between childhood and adulthood.
New programmes pitched must resonate with our young demographic, spark debate, and provoke young people to question their role in the world. We want original ideas that stimulate and inspire young people by exploring alternative viewpoints, lifestyles and issues. In order to maximise appeal to our target demographic, the shape and grammar of programmes pitched should feel contemporary, and where relevant should be tackled through an entertaining prism.
Having undertaken significant qualitative and quantitative research, we've identified key commissioning areas for 2014. We're actively looking for content that touches on online behaviour and digital footprint, relationships and sex, and family and friendships.
While we are developing ideas in the key areas above, don't be restricted to them - we are happy to hear about passion projects, especially if you feel they fit the values of Channel 4 Education.
We will continue to commission online projects - but these will be related to TV brands rather than stand-alone projects. Our aim is to harness the TV audiences to reach a greater number of people; we hope to engage our key demographic with bespoke educational content that they otherwise may not be exposed to it. For example this year's Fresh Meat Unlocked used the reach and appeal of the Channel 4 series to deliver valuable life skills information.
We are also open to discussing multi-platform ideas, and will look to seek out opportunities to connect with new and existing Channel 4 brands.
Talent: We are keen to work with established on screen talent that appeal to the 14-19 year old audience. This may be existing presenting talent, comedy or acting talent that are are popular with a young audience. We'd like to build these relationships and would consider developing ideas around the right talent.
Access: We are looking for unique access to precincts or people that have a specific resonance with our demographic. Whether it's an institution, workplace or leisure arena that brings relevant stories, characters and issues to the fore, or an inspirational individual or group with an amazing story to tell, we're open to hearing it.
Shapes of Programmes & Commissioning Slots
Television content will sit across the schedules on C4 and E4, with a presence in prime-time. We are an ideas led department and if the idea is right for us, we'll work with you to find it a home in the schedules. We will also work closely with colleagues across other genres in the commissioning team in identifying areas for collaboration on educational content.
We will commission documentary singles or series, factual entertainment formats, and entertainment led ideas with life skills messages at their heart. We urge you to think originally, while keeping in mind the grammar and tone of programming that resonates with the key demographic. We are excited by new filming techniques, new technology, and fresh ways to tell a narrative.
For any diary queries please contact the genre assistant, for all other programme queries please contact the relevant programme coordinator.
Head of Formats
Commissioning Editor, Formats
Jilly Pearce (on maternity leave)
Programme Coordinator, Daytime, Music & Formats
Genre Assistant, Daytime, Music & Formats
Bec Milligan (Currently on Maternity Leave)