Open main menu

Ahead of the Class is a single British television drama film, based on the book of the same name by Marie Stubbs, that first broadcast on ITV1 on 30 January 2005. Adapted for television by Robert Jones and directed by Adrian Shergold, the film stars Julie Walters as Stubbs, a diminutive Glaswegian headmistress who takes on the challenge of improving the fortunes of St George's Roman Catholic Secondary School in North West London.

Ahead of the Class
Created byMarie Stubbs
Written byRobert Jones
Directed byAdrian Shergold
StarringJulie Walters
Reece Dinsdale
Hannah Yelland
Inday Ba
Michelle Fairley
Danny Nussbaum
Tony Slattery
Alan McKenna
Anton Lesser
Adrian Rawlins
Theme music composerPaul Heard
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Michael Foster
Simon Heath
Sue Latimer
Producer(s)Elli Jason
CinematographyDavid Odd
Editor(s)Tania Reddin
Running time94 minutes
Production company(s)ARG TV Ltd.
World Productions
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9 (576i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release
  • 30 January 2005 (2005-01-30)

Reece Dinsdale and Hannah Yelland are credited as the other two principal cast members, who star as Stubbs' deputies, Sean Devlin and Tracy O'Leary respectively. The film was shot on location at the former Kingsland Secondary School in Dalston, Hackney, London. The film drew 9.6 million viewers on its debut broadcast.[1] The film was nominated for two awards at the Royal Television Society Awards 2006, in the categories of Best Single Drama and Best Actress, for Julie Walters. A DVD of the film was released on 21 May 2007.[2]



Marie Stubbs is close to the age of retirement. After leaving her role as headteacher at The Douay Martyrs School, Ickenham, she takes over as headmistress at St. George's Roman Catholic Secondary School, which is facing closure after its previous headmaster, Philip Lawrence, was murdered in 1995, whilst breaking up a fight between his pupils and students from a rival school. The school is suffering from a multitude of problems, including bullying, gang culture, persistent absence and vandalism. Staff morale is at an all-time low, and Ofsted have placed the school in special measures.



External linksEdit