Or Bob Cherry..or Johnny Bull,come on,even Billy Bunter would do at a pinch.Think they didn't have racial diversity at Greyfriars 90 years ago? What about Fisher T.Fish from the Yewnited States,or more relevant,Hurree Jamset Ram Singh - the Nabob of Bhanipoor?O.K. so his nickname in those less enlightened times was "Inky" but he suffered far less racial harassment than his kinfolk at Ackley Bridge - which is really "Waterloo Road in disguise. The programmes share the considerable talents of Miss J.Joyner,but even she cannot rescue this disaster of almost comic proportions. This culture - clash school story ,as subtle as a Cruise missile,is full of elderly schoolchildren with bad "Northern" accents,many of whom appear to be competing for the "Worst performance by somebody from a third - rate Stage school in 2017".And the competition is fierce. Older actors who should know better and indeed have done better in almost every other programme they've been in seem to be looking around desperately for a way out,but sorry guys,you're stuck for at least the season. This sort of "Let's all live together in a Rainbow Classroom" fantasy is de rigeur in a fragmenting society,but wishing ain't going to make it so. If you pay peanuts for teachers you will get monkeys. More than ever there needs to be an incentive for good teachers to work at the sometimes more challenging chalkface. Who is going to put themselves in the firing line of State Education for a pittance when the Private Sector is far more comfortable and better paid? Ackley Bridge and its like will remain a dumping ground for children and teachers until this problem is addressed. And programmes like this do nothing to help,merely being a Recruiting aid to posh schools as nobody in their right mind would want to work in a school like this.
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