School: BBC documentary reveals impact of education cuts
Tom Pearce and Paul Mitchell
21 January 2019
Throughout School we hear the refrain “We have to make our school financially viable.” CEO Will Roberts reveals that CSET has already suffered £1 [US$1.3] million in budget cuts, leaving government funding insufficient to maintain current services. He declares, “We are at the absolute limit of what we can do with the finance available to us.”
Angie Browne, interim head teacher at Castle school, arrives at a MAT board meeting to be told another £296,000 of “budget savings” must be made before the end of the academic year. Redundancies are discussed. You can tell Browne is torn between supporting her staff and having to implement the MAT’s demands. Ultimately it is decided to cut the Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments (TLRs) teachers receive for “significant” extra work such as behavioural support. Around 40 teachers will suffer a £6,000 pay cut and children will be denied the help they need.
Browne tells her staff about the proposals. There is shock on their faces. A “consultation period” is proposed—a whitewash, since the decision has already been taken. One teacher says, “Teachers have always worked [above and beyond] without being paid, but there is no motivation now to do it.”
There is clearly a lack of staff. Seventeen teachers having left the school in 2017 heaps pressure on those who remain and results in poor behaviour of pupils. One science teacher says, “Schools are under increasing pressure to turn out the numbers [results] and teachers are putting stress on the pupils.”
With only six staff in the pastoral support team after staff and hours were halved last year,…