A Jewish trainee teacher from Glasgow is starring in a new BBC documentary that shows the realities of teaching in London’s schools.
Oliver Beach, 25, features in Tough Young Teachers, which starts on BBC Three this week.
The Birmingham University graduate teaches business studies at Crown Woods College in Eltham, south-east London.
The year-long experience, he says, is “extremely challenging but very rewarding. The stress pales into insignificance when students start to see their self-worth.”
Mr Beach, who attended Jewish primary school, Calderwood Lodge, and taught English at an Israeli school in Holon during his gap year, said many of his students come from “challenging backgrounds. But they deserve teachers who are passionate about their subject, and as good a standard of education as everyone else.”
In the opening episode, he is seen playing classical music to students. “At the beginning, they found it slightly odd, but people stay longer in a restaurant when there’s classical music, so I just applied that same logic to the classroom,” he said.
Another new series starting this week is Hostages, the American version of the Israeli political thriller. This tells the story of a surgeon who has to decide whether to cause the death of her country’s president on the operating table, or allow her kidnapped family to be killed by terrorists.
Produced by Chaim Sharir for Israel’s Channel 10, it was developed for American television and premiered on CBS in September, with 7.4 million viewers. Channel 4 will start screening it on Saturday evening and hopes it can replicate the success of its other American/Israeli thriller, Homeland.
The original Israeli version of the drama, meanwhile, has been bought by the BBC, which says it also has plans to broadcast on Saturdays.
However, the two companies are expected to avoid a direct clash.