Educating Cardiff press pack


Filmed at Willows High School in Cardiff, Wales, this brand new eight-part series captures every detail of life in the school from playground hijinks and inspirational lessons to life-changing friendships and important school events. Educating Cardiff follows the work of Head Teacher Joy Ballard, as she brings her passion and determination to lift the academic achievements at the school as well as the spirit of her students.

Assisted by a stellar team of teachers and support staff, Joy is on a mission to turn the school around, taking it from one of the worst performing schools in Cardiff to a school that all the pupils and staff can be proud of. Under Joy’s leadership the school has been on a rapid and considerable journey of improvement for the past four years.

Head Teacher Joy Ballard says, ‘We were delighted when we were asked to take part in the fourth series. Willows High School has been on an incredible journey over the past four years. Our pupils are amazing; warm, friendly and funny with such incredible potential and our teachers talented, committed and always prepared to go that extra mile to ensure that our pupils achieve, no matter what their starting point. We believe that the relationships between our staff and pupils are extraordinary and want the series to show how so many of our pupils are beginning to fulfil their life potential.'

From Year 7 to Year 11, newly qualified teachers and old-hands, this series shows what it’s like to learn and teach in an improving school in the Welsh capital. Educating Cardiff is told with heart, honesty and humour, and celebrates the universally-identifiable themes of adolescence and those pivotal pupil-teacher relationships that shape everyone’s teenage years.

Following on from Essex, Yorkshire and most recently the East End, under the stewardship of Mrs Ballard, this series of ‘Educating…’ promises to unearth more inspiring, humorous and heart-rending stories from the corridors of this characterful Cardiff school.

Prod Co: Two Four
Series Producer/Directors: Nicola Brown and Alex Kohler.
Commissioning Editors: David Brindley & Madonna Benjamin

Praise for previous ‘Educating…’ series

While the schedules are saturated with fly-on-the-wall documentaries, Educating… has always stood apart, dealing almost exclusively in those infectiously life-affirming moments that are the holy grail of reality television. Guardian

The strength of this programme lies in its open-handed approach to its subject. Edited down from 2,000 hours of footage shot on 64 cameras, the series captures the school ecosystem in the non-judgemental way that a wildlife film might depict a pride of lions. Daily Telegraph

Why do schools allow their daily lives to be filmed for television? Because, simply put, they usually come out of it very well. If it’s our respect these teachers want, they’ve got it. The Independent

Press pack contents

  • From Year 7 to Year 11, newly qualified teachers to old-hands, this series shows what it's like to learn and teach in the Welsh capital
  • The headteacher of Willows High School, Cardiff, talks about the filming of Educating Cardiff
  • Meet the staff of Willows High School
  • Take a sneak peek at some of from the new series following life at Willows High School


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