A self shooting observational documentary producer/director making engaging, thought-provoking films about real people, often filming over extended timeframes.

The Boys of Ballikinrain : Synopsis

Observational Documentary
My Role
Peter Barber-Fleming
Production Company
Saltire Film and TV Productions
Ewan Angus
BBC Two Scotland
Transmission Date
9pm, 19th Feb 2007 onwards

For the first time in the UK cameras are allowed to film and identify children under the age of 16 and living under Care Orders in a Residential School. Filmed over eight months, “The Boys of Ballikinrain” follows five young boys as they struggle to cope with what has and is happening to them.

12 year old Steven from Aberdeen is a persistent offender. Ballikinrain is his second Residential School. Aggressive and anti social, his physical size dominates the crowd, but deep down all he wants is to be with his baby sister as she walks her first steps.

Ryan, also 12, is from Stirling. Full of anger he has been placed in care, partly due to his chaotic drug addict father coming in and out of his life, and partly because he still cannot read properly. But with his mother still in contact he has hopes of becoming one of the few day pupils…

The joker of the unit, Bradley is best friends with Paul, whom never removes his hood whether sleeping, showering or in class, and whose three other siblings are all in care. Bradley arrived in Ballikinrain after his grandfather could no longer cope with his behaviour, and his parents split up. With his mother addicted to drugs, Bradley’s only hope is for his estranged dad to come back.

2009 The Boys of Ballikinrain acquired by the national Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), and Teachers TV

Feb 2008 University of Edinburgh School of Law study The Boys of Ballikinrain as part of their ‘Youth Crime and Justice’ syllabus.

July 2007 Sean Connery phones Stephen Bennett to congratulate him on the series.