The Educational Advisory Council

When Rediffusion Television began to pioneer in school television it set up an advisory council. The first chairman was Sir John Wolfenden. He was succeeded by Sir Sydney Caine. I am the third holder of the office but I am confident that my two distinguished predecessors would agree that the principles on which our work has been conducted have remained consistently the same. The wary have a suspicion of advisory committees, fearful that they are merely a mode of window dressing. This certainly has not been true of the Rediffusion council. In the first place, the members are not chosen in some haphazard way as individuals, because some people happen to know other people; they are all representatives of educational bodies, mainly national bodies, and they report back to them. Attendance has been exemplary. We have also had consistent and valued assistance from representatives of the Department of Education and Science and of the Inner London Education Authority.

My major impression is the care which the council has taken over programmes. First, these are discussed in detail at committee meetings which last from two to three hours. Secondly, the council has never assumed an omniscient attitude at these meetings. It has relied on the judgement of teachers in the schools, whose reports have been collated and studied and on whose views action has been taken. Thirdly, I would affirm that on all educational matters the company has deferred to the views of the council. There are fortunately in the higher echelons of the company two or three people genuinely interested in education. They are proud that they were the pioneers in school television. Now there are further fields to conquer and one hopes that Rediffusion Television will continue with a forward-looking spirit.