Teachers 'losing respect because of TV shows'

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Television executives were blamed yesterday for causing a decline in school discipline by portraying teachers in dramas as disreputable drunkards who often engaged in illicit affairs.

Delegates at the Professional Association of Teachers' annual conference in Cardiff urged broadcasters to show more responsibility, saying that pupils were showing less respect for their role-models.

Their main concerns were over the Channel 4 soap Teachers, which stars Andrew Lincoln as a newly qualified teacher, and the BBC1 series Hope and Glory, which stars Lenny Henry as a headmaster of a failing inner-city comprehensive.

Maya Chatarjee, a supply teacher from Croydon, south London, told the conference that Teachers portrayed young teachers as "heavy-drinking, lazy, dishonest and irresponsible''. She said: "I haven't met any teachers like that. Young people seeing these programmes will begin to believe everybody sleeps around and will lose respect for their teachers."