Channel 5 TV reveals how Ian Mikado school tackles kids with problems

Perry... enjoying lesson at Ian Mikado School

Perry... enjoying lesson at Ian Mikado School - Credit: TH Council

Pupils at a special school in London’s East End tackling behaviour problems are the starts in a TV documentary on Channel 5.

Perry... enjoying lesson at Ian Mikado School

Perry... enjoying lesson at Ian Mikado School - Credit: TH Council

It shows the unique approach of a Tower Hamlets school in dealing with boys with extreme problems.

The first of the two-part programme about the special school is tonight at 9pm. The second part is next Monday.

The programme, ‘Too Tough To Teach?’, was filmed on the school premises in Bromley-by-Bow, showing the work that staff at do under the most extreme pressure.

“Our methods may be unconventional,” Headteacher Claire Lillis said. “But we know they are successful.


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“I wanted to show that early intervention can make a dramatic improvement to the lives of vulnerable young people.”

The research and filming followed months of collaboration between the school, the Channel 5 producers and Tower Hamlets council—with no holds barred to show how special schools manage to get through the day.

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A Town Hall spokesman admits: “The programme is at times controversial—but viewers will see how the school’s approach to working with students who sometimes display difficult behaviour leads to improved outcomes for many of them.”

The first episode followed 14-year-old Matthew as he joined the school and 16-year-old Ray, a promising boxer who is trying to control his anger.

Ian Mikardo has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted three times in a row, most recently in June. It caters for youngsters who cannot go to mainstream schools who are given teaching and guidance which, in many cases, improves their life chances.

The school prides itself on its philosophy of having no prescribed rules. There is no set of Dos and Don’ts, for example, and its young students are not mad e to wear uniforms.

Instead, the boys are told how staff, who do not use any physical restraint, expect them to behave.

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