§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Filkin)
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Ruth Kelly) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I wish to announce the establishment of the Teachers' TV Board of Governors as an advisory non-departmental public body (ANDPB).
Teachers' TV is a new digital TV channel aimed at people who work in schools. Funded by, but editorially independent of, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the channel will offer direct access to resources, information and training to support head teachers, teachers, governors, teaching assistants and other school staff to deliver education to the highest possible standard.
A third party, Education Digital, will run the channel on behalf of DfES. It will have direct responsibility for commissioning programming, scheduling and transmission—in short, all aspects of the channel's daily operations.
In order to ensure that the channel is independent of government, as required by the Communications Act 2003, yet remains accountable for the public money it receives, a governance structure has been developed. This structure will be overseen by the Teachers' TV Board of Governors who will be responsible for ensuring that DfES's educational outcomes are effectively translated into targets for Teachers' TV programming. The supplier's performance-related bonus will be dependent on them successfully meeting these targets.
The board of governors has been established as an advisory non-departmental public body and it will act as a high-powered advisory authority that will inform DfES decisions regarding Teachers' TV. The board will produce an annual report for presentation to the department which will also be published. It will outline the advice that the board has given DfES over the course of the year, the targets the supplier was set, the board's assessment of the supplier's performance over the previous year and the bonus that was recommended to the department. Other matters, at the board's discretion, may also be covered in the report—for example the effectiveness of the regulatory framework in upholding the channel's editorial independence.
Teachers' TV will launch in February 2005 and will be on-air 24 hours per day via a number of distribution outlets including digital satellite, digital cable and digital 2WS terrestrial TV. An associated Teachers' TV website will provide a broadband version of programmes and downloadable resources. An interactive TV facility will be developed by autumn 2005.