ITV Schools and Colleges

Established in 1957 by the Independent Television Authority, Independent Television for Schools and Colleges served as a dedicated educational television service. It provided a range of learning programmes designed for children and adolescents aged 5 to 18, and was broadcast across the ITV Network.

Over its three-decade run, the service offered an array of impactful documentaries, dramas, and entertainment programmes tailored for those attending schools and colleges, produced by prominent ITV companies such as Thames Television, ATV, Central Independent Television, Granada Television, and Yorkshire Television.

Prior to the early 1970s, the British Government regulated broadcasting hours, compelling commercial broadcasters to reserve their most lucrative programming for peak viewing times. Conveniently, this allowed them to fulfil their contractual obligations by airing educational content during school hours. These networked educational shows were primarily produced by the ‘Big Four’ weekday contractors – Yorkshire, Granada, Thames, and ATV – and typically aired during late mornings and early afternoons.

However, regulatory changes that took effect on October 16, 1972, allowed for an additional 20 hours of weekly broadcasting. This led to the rescheduling of educational broadcasts to a morning slot from 9:30am to 12:00pm during school terms, freeing up the afternoon for commercial programming, as advertising was strictly prohibited during educational broadcasts.