Eminent classicist Mary Beard has joined the cast of Channel 4’s new documentary “Dream School”. The programme is the idea of Jamie Oliver and aims to show how students who have failed to attain five good GCSEs can nevertheless achieve if they are suitably inspired by their teachers. “Dream School” follows twenty such teenagers as a group of well-known personalities including David Starkey, Ellen MacArthur and Tinchy Stryder aim to engage them and raise their aspirations. Although Jamie Oliver has been at pains to stress how he thinks the majority of teachers are doing an excellent job, the show has still caused a great deal of controversy. Mary Beard has defended her involvement on her popular blog and her views make for fascinating reading.