Teacher Simon starring in TV school show

Wigan teacher Simon Humphreys
Wigan teacher Simon Humphreys

A Wigan schoolteacher set to make his debut TV appearance says Channel 4’s new fly-on-the-wall documentary will help a school’s bad reputation.

Simon Humphreys, 27, from Springfield, has been teaching at a high school located in a notorious Salford suburb since September last year.

Educating Greater Manchester

Educating Greater Manchester

The geography teacher found out just weeks into his new role at Harrop Fold in Little Hulton that the school was set to feature in the new documentary series Educating Greater Manchester.

The TV show, which airs on Channel 4 each Thursday at 9pm starting on August 31, follows a group of teachers and pupils at the school, which was once dubbed the worst in the country.

Simon, who also DJs karaoke at the Bowling Green pub on Wigan Lane, said: “I think it’s very honest. It represents us very well and it’s very open. I think a lot of the time people think programmes like this are just a show - but after a few days the kids forgot the cameras were there. I don’t think it will paint us as perfect.

“I think it will show the good and the bad, It is going to show us the way that we are.”

I hope it is going to show how hard the teachers and the children work. The school has had a troubled past

Simon Humphreys

The documentary, which comes as part of a series of shows focusing on schools in different regions across the UK, was filmed between January and March.

Cameras were planted in the classrooms and the staff rooms in order to show day-to-day interactions between students and pupils.

“There are still improvements to be made,” said Simon. “I hope it is going to show how hard the teachers and the children work. The school has had a troubled past. At one point it was known as the worst in the country.

“They had had a bad reputation in the past for crime. The school is bang in the middle of an estate so we try to take them away from everything going on outside.”

“I used to work at an all-girls school so it is very different to that,” he added. “The pupils at Harrop Fold are very loyal to the school. It takes a long time to earn their trust.”

The show follows the school through one of its most difficult academic years as it now faces the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack, education cuts and a new GCSE exam system.

Headteacher Drew Povey said: “The school has been on an incredible journey over recent years and we are extremely proud of our students, staff and local community. We have been given the opportunity to share our story through the Educating series, we believed it was something that we had to do.

“Team Harrop has been galvanised by its significant challenges but unswerving commitment to making the difference.

“We believe that something special is happening in Harrop Fold, Little Hulton and Salford and we have the highest aspirations for the future of all our students, staff and stakeholders.”