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Last Updated:  Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 00:43 GMT 01:43 UK
Teacher channel to be broadcast on TV
The channel provides lesson plans
Teachers are to have their own television channel, the government has announced.

It will broadcast for 18 hours a day and offer training tips and resources.

The channel will be editorially independent of the government, with the contract to be offered to a third-party supplier.

Schools minister David Miliband said: "This is an innovative and exciting proposition for teachers.

"It will provide unique support for people who work in schools and will bring useful information together in one place to save time and add value.

"Research shows teachers are likely to tune into the channel during work planning and development time.

"Therefore, it should help to cut down their workload, as well as support them in raising standards."

It must not become a propaganda vehicle for the government at the taxpayers' expense
Liberal Democrat education spokesman Phil Willis

The channel is also intended for school governors, teaching assistants and budget managers.

It will provide lesson plans, teaching materials and education news updates.

The format has been developed through consultation with teachers.

Liberal Democrat education spokesman Phil Willis said: "If this new channel signals a genuine move towards widening communication channels for teachers then it is welcome.

"However, it must not become a propaganda vehicle for the government at the taxpayers' expense.

"Quite when teachers will have the time to watch this new channel is another matter.

"They may need to keep to similar broadcast hours to the Open University, as the middle of the night is virtually the only time that many teachers have that is not spent teaching, preparing or marking work."

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