Train the Trainer: Free media literacy program launches to support UK teachers, as 90% call for media literacy to be taught in schools


  • Teachers can now register for a groundbreaking ‘Media Literacy Champions Programme’
  • The fully-funded course, which takes an in depth look at spotting fake news, fact-checking sources, and how to communicate effectively about media literacy to students, has been released following the rise of misinformation and fake news misleading young people in Britain
  • According to Ofcom the majority (68%) of teenagers say they use social media for news, despite only one in ten (11%) being able to tell what’s real or fake online[1]
  • Further statistics found that nine in ten (90%) UK teachers want media literacy to be included in their curriculum
  • Teachers can sign up to the training programme, which also develops four essential skills from the Skills Builder Universal Framework, here:


This innovative and timely new media literacy programme, aimed at equipping teachers with the necessary skills to support their students in identifying truthful, reliable, and trustworthy information online, has now launched.


Created by media literacy charity, The Student View, and funded by the European Media and Information Fund (EMIF), and developed in partnership with award-winning investigative journalism group Bellingcat, education experts the PSHE Association, and the cross-party think tank Demos, the free programme is now available to secondary school teachers across the country. Teachers who register will also gain unrestricted access to lesson plans and guidance from the PSHE Association and a teacher handbook developed by Bellingcat and The Student View, alongside support from a journalist to help them set up a pop-up newsroom in their school.


The Media Literacy Champions curriculum has been awarded a Skills Builder quality assurance accreditation – Impact Level 4 and has been added to the Skills Builder Impact Directory.


Aiming to fill the gaps of support available to schools, the free ‘Media Literacy Champions Programme’ which was developed by investigative journalism group, Bellingcat, will provide education professionals with the most up-to-date resources, tools and techniques to help students find trusted information online to inform their personal, employment and democratic decisions; challenge mis and disinformation; and understand context and influence.


Despite the majority (68%) of teenagers saying they use social media for news, research by Ofcom in 2022 found that only one in ten (11%) were able to tell what’s real or fake online[1]. Further research by the communications regulator found that more than a third (36%) of children aged 8-17 said they had seen something ‘worrying or nasty’ online in the past 12 months.


Additionally, a survey commissioned by The Student View, discovered that nine in ten (90%) UK teachers want media literacy to be included specifically in their curriculum, and according to The National Literacy Trust over half (53.5%) believe that the curriculum does not equip children with the literacy skills they need to identify fake news[2].


Designed to change this narrative and improve students’ knowledge on deep-fakes and AI, unregulated influencers, and misinformation, the free training programme is delivered in three modules by expert trainers. Teachers must complete all three modules to become a verified ‘Media Literacy Champion’, and to fit around teachers busy schedules the interactive modules – delivered LIVE via Zoom –  can be taken over a couple of months and do not require any pre or post ‘homework’.


The course modules will cover a range of topics on media literacy including; navigating mis-disinformation, fact checking, deep fake images/AI, targeted advertising, and being a critical consumer of news.


As part of the programme, secondary school teachers will be offered fully-funded training to deliver workshops to students and coach them as ‘junior news reporters’ to improve their critical thinking and media literacy skills. Researchers and investigators from Bellingcat will share their innovative approaches to open-source data, including social media, to enable students and teachers to spot misinformation and generate original investigations about their local community.


The opportunity is currently open to secondary school teachers across the country, with training sessions running up until January 2024. Professionals who are interested in taking part can sign up to the free media literacy training programme here:


Bejay Mulenga MBE, Executive Director at The Student View, says:

“We are thrilled to launch the next phase of this first-of-its-kind project, to bring teachers a comprehensive guide, developed by experts at the forefront of this topic, on how to teach media literacy in secondary schools. Now more than ever students need to develop the critical thinking skills required to navigate a confusing and ever-changing media landscape. 


“As teachers, you are ideally placed to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of misinformation and online safety is in the hands of teachers. We urge you to sign up for your place, at no cost to your school or yourself, and help us reach as many students as possible in the UK with up-to-date media literacy education.”


Giancarlo Fiorella, Director of Research and Training at Bellingcat, says:

At Bellingcat, one of our main goals has always been to teach people how to use information that’s readily available on the internet to make discoveries about events happening around them. We’ve done this to great effect in our own investigations over the years, and we’ve trained thousands of journalists and other civil society actors to do the same all across the world.

“Our lives are only going to grow more interdependent on what’s happening online. This is all the more true for the young people of today. That’s why we’re so excited about this partnership. Together with The Student View, the PSHE Association, and Demos, we’re hoping to help bring media literacy to classrooms across the UK at a time when it’s never been more vital for the health of individuals and of societies to know how to tell truth from falsehood online.”