Independent school to feature in BBC shows

First published in Search Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by

AN independent school that was bought by a Worcestershire mother is to be featured in two documentaries on the BBC.

Annabel Goodman struggled to find a school that could cater for the needs of her severely dyslexic son and so when the one school that was helping him to make progress was threatened with closure she took the unique step of taking it over herself.

Now the New Elizabethan School at Hartlebury is thriving with increasing student numbers and continued interest.

Her story is to be told in two BBC documentaries, one to be aired in September and the other, a longer version will be screened next year.

Producer Tim Green said: "We thought this was a really fascinating tale and so we decided we wanted to make a programme about the school and what would prompt someone to buy their child's school.

"We have been filming here quite a lot over the past few months and will be here until September. We are filming everyday activities, as well as the unusual events and Annabel's fight to improve the school."

A 10-minute long piece will be featured on the BBC1 Inside Out programme in the autumn, and a 40-minute long documentary will be aired on BBC2 next year.

Mr Green added: "It has been interesting filming here, watching the children as they progress and seeing how the school has adapted."

Miss Goodman set up a company to manage the school and pay its £120,000 annual costs earlier this year, after it was threatened with closure.

The 35-year-old barrister had sent her 13-year-old son, Jacob, to nine schools previously, including three other private schools. She was shocked to hear that after finally finding a school that would properly cater for her son - who is profoundly dyslexic - it could shut.

Miss Goodman said: "There has been a lot of interest in the school since I took it over and the BBC asked if they could come and film here. I said no at first, but after speaking with parents and pupils they wanted it to go ahead.

"The film crew have been here a lot but have not disrupted the running of the school and we are proud to be able to show off what we have achieved."

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