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tv   Inside the School Cuts Crisis -...  BBC News  September 6, 2019 3:30am-4:01am BST

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the headteacher is having to make tough choices. but what. .. ..but what do we do about it? there's nothing there that can be cut. it's as simple as that. and no—one‘sjob is safe. i'm very concerned, because at the end of the day, this is, this is what i joined a school to do. the government has promised to raise funding for schools, but for now, this is the reality of life on education's frontline. it is reaching a crisis point now. it's the start of the final summer term at north denes, a 360—strong primary school in great yarmouth, norfolk. right, good morning, everybody! pupils: good morning, mrs whiting!
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debbie whiting is the school's headteacher. i've been a headteacher since 2012. i hope you've all had a lovely holiday. this is now our last term of the year. so, it's a busy one. like many heads, debbie has been struggling with a tight budget for years. and we're going to look at respecting resources. but now things are worse than ever. now, what sort of things do you think might be called resources in school? yes? books? books, 0k. books, sharpener pots, so you've got some ideas. the new budget came out in april and all of a sudden there's a huge deficit. it's really devastating. devastating. school funding cuts in england mean debbie will have to lose some of her 66 staff. resources cost money, lots and lots of money. and we haven't got very much of that... so, we need to really look after things.
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so, is there anybody that can't do it? no, we can all do it? fantastic. it's going to be a good term then, isn't it? # it's good to meet again # here with our teachers and all of our friends there's work to do but that's ok, we're in it together today. hey, we're in it together today...# north denes serves one of the most deprived parts of the uk. nearly half the school are entitled to the free school meals, so they're from families where they're not working or they're on less than £7,000 a year, which isn't very much money. when you've got nearly half the school that is in that situation, there are challenges. # we are red we are orange and yellow, we are green, # blue and indigo....# by 16, children from deprived backgrounds are on average 18 months behind in terms of educational attainment.
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to try to narrow the gap, schools in deprived areas get extra funding. about three years ago, we had a cohort of children in year 6 who were really quite difficult and quite frankly, i could've excluded about seven or eight children. we needed somehow to be able to meet the mental health needs of these children because that was primarily what the problem was. just do that bit first. debbie used part of the deprivation funding — worth around £700 a year per pupil — to set up a special team to work with children, and theirfamilies. got your bank statements? the team's made up of a care and support advisor, a special needs co—ordinator, a behaviour expert, and a mental health specialist. we kept all those children in school that year and they went on to high school successfully and we've kept several other children in school beyond that. with the wellbeing team in place, its pupils now score above the national average
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in reading, writing and maths. you can have a look here and see if you can see any letters... and its 0fsted rating has risen to good, with 0utstanding leadership. the wellbeing team really is integral to the success of the school. it seems as if the job of leading a school is ever more about a lot more than just education, but if you don't actually provide all these services, then, actually, the children aren't in a place to learn. and there are other services this school provides for struggling families. my name is keira, and i'm11—years—old. what sandwiches have you guys got? i've got ham — i like ham. my role at the school is to be a house captain. so, i asked the school for help with food. it started off with me taking a letter in to ms whiting,
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saying, "can you help my family out, 'cos we don't have that much food?" it was really nervous 'cos i thought she was going to say no, then we were going to like stay forever without any food. it breaks your heart to read a letter like that. i've never had a letter like that from a child before and i thought, well, goodness me, yes, we must do something to help. thank you, bye—bye! so, the wellbeing team set up a foodbank. each week, several families a week get food parcels, depending on need. and the school set up a clothes and baby bank, too. will you be cinderella, will you go to the ball? do they fit? everything's gone up everywhere. things are more expensive. so, even though they have a good work ethic, sometimes it's really hard even for the working parents. we have come across more and more this year i think, the working poverty. north denes is farfrom unique.
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in an online survey by the association of school and college leaders, of the 400 head teachers who responded, 9 out of 10 reported that they had helped poorer pupils with clothing. and four in 10 said they helped families with food parcels. but running services like these costs the school in time and resources. debbie will need to decide which of these services and which staff will have to go. miss tungate, look at mask! ooh, lovely! teaching assistant, 0livia, has been at the school for two years. i'm very busy. i find myself tidying up a lot. put it on. there's not a moment where we have time to sit down and have a cup of tea, do you know what i mean? we are nonstop —
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we're always on the go. according to the institute for fiscal studies, in england since 2010 there has been a real terms cut in school spending of 8%. up to now, the extra deprivation funding has helped buffer north denes, but now everyone knows job cuts are coming. myjob is at risk, yeah. at the minute, just seeing how it goes. i'm very concerned, because at the end of the day this is, this is what ijoined a school to do, if obviously i'm not here, if the other tas aren't here, it'sjust... ..some of them are challenging. so having not as many staff is going to be very difficult. i'm waiting...|‘m waiting for quiet. and i'm waiting for the boys to come and join us. well, lucas, you need to pick them up now, please. no! i don't want to!
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five—year—old lucas has autism. i don't want to! no! would you like a cuddle? he can't, he just can't cope being within, with all the other children at one time, doing what the other children are doing. trying to keep him involved which means that i'm not available then for the rest of the class. reception teacher christine is worried about the impact of losing a teaching assistant. when i was at school we didn't have tas. if you had asthma, you went to a special school. certainly if you had cerebral palsy, you went to a special school. now, we try to be an inclusive society. and they do fantastically, but you need to put the support in place, in order for them to do that and for that not to be taking away from the education of the other children. and to do that you need tas in the classroom.
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norfolk county council recently adopted the government's new national funding formula for schools. it's led to significant cuts in per pupil entitlement for north denes. debbie is discussing priorities with the school governors. this year has been taken up with looking at ways of trying to solve the budget problem. we'd budgeted for £3,100, rounded, per pupil and then in the actual budget it was ofjust over £2,700, so if you multiple that up over not far short of 400 children, it's quite a lot of money. we've got people donating food for the food bank, we've had donations which mean we won't be buying tea, the toast and the drinks out of school budget. as governors, obviously, we would like to support you, and support those children, really. it's great what the school is doing but it's concern for the whole classroom setting, really. after grants have been added, the school is losing around £130
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a year in per pupil entitlement, but outgoings, including mandatory pay rises, have gone up. the governors have agreed 13 of her 66 staff must be cut to avoid a deficit next year of £170,000. the next few weeks, we'll see that staffing reduction concluded and then we've got to look at the arrangements for next year. the cuts mean losing a teacher, five tas and seven support staff. and that's obviously caused upset amongst staff because it does, you know, it's not something that you can expect people to take lightly. losing a fifth of the staff will have a major impact on the school. i am concerned about the level of staffing in terms of tas being reduced at a time when need has increased. you've only got to walk down the corridor to see we've got a number of youngsters who have a physical need, and we're not renewing the contracts of those people who are supporting those youngsters. we've got some quite difficult ones coming in next year too... i feel a bit kind of powerless
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because we can sit here at the table can't we, and we'll go, "oh yes, oh yeah, you're right, debbie," but what... ..but what do we do about it? north denes is not alone. a report by the sutton trust in april found that over two thirds of primary school heads have cut ta numbers to save money, and almost half have cut support staff. 0h, you've lost your glasses, ellison. come and sit on your chair. at north denes, the one—to—one support staff who help children with special needs are among those at risk. good boy, ellison. ellison is five, and has cerebral palsy. it's a lifelong condition that affects his coordination and movement, but has no effect on his ability to learn. i want to play with the frog. of course you can, ellison. tracey‘s been giving him one—to—one
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support since hejoined nursery. mind, it's a bit windy. slow. step, step, step. that's it. he's doing so well. his movement and his posture. stand up straight, like a soldier. he's doing really well, academically. the only thing that holds him back is his physical. hello! willow! where are you, willow? willow, hello! you're poppy's sister, aren't you? ellison so needs to be in a mainstream school. it's notjust about ellison. it's about other children understanding everybody else‘s individual needs. we will do some exercises and then take off the splints, yeah? wiggle, wiggle, wiggle... almost a quarter of the pupils at north denes have special educational needs and disabilities — or send — far more than most schools. children from deprived backgrounds are more likely to have send status. the school receives some send
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funding for pupils like ellison, which helps, but with the other cuts and expenses, there's not enough to secure some of the one—to—ones like tracey. at the moment, there is no funding for ellison in september, so i guess that means there will be no role for me here at the school. that makes me feel sad because i would have liked to have stayed a little bit longer with ellison. i think he'll be able to manage himself in a few years, but at the moment, i just think he's getting to know his own body, his own strengths, his own abilities. it would be such a shame to lose that ability to think, "yeah, i can do that like anybody else." it is so difficult to have to stand in front of a really trusted, well—respected staff who've invested of themselves in the school and have to say, 'actually, some of you are going to have to lose yourjobs.‘ personally, i care about them, and it's their lives and it's the impact on their lives,
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and then secondly you care because the impact that they have on our children is going to be lost and we can't afford to lose those people. one, two, three, four... next term the school will get around £750 for each pupil on the sen register. but sen co—ordinator, juliet is hoping to get more from the council to try to keep some of the one to one support workers. oh, good grief, ten. ten... ten kids in there. she needs to register how many pupils in each class need sen support. ellison full—time, lucas needs at least, what, 50% support? and how many of the other children? quite a lot. so you've got...
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that's not going to happen... is it? 77 grand. no. that's not happening it's just not happening. this is horrific. the school will be told by the end of term whether their application for extra funding has been accepted. so you get some books that go in the wrong place and children ain't gonna be able to read that book cos they will be looking in the wrong place. debbie, the school's part—time librarian, is also losing herjob. it'sjust going to be... i don't know, like a jumble sale in here. shifting through all the books. it's not going to be good enough for the children. it is literally the children that you worry about. and then you sort of process it a bit and it hits home that you're
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losing yourjob and you got your own family to support. there's not many jobs in the area as it is. i mean you can go for a job and there's 100 people going for that one job that's available that everybody wants. let's all sit round. sit round here. year 5 teacher, gail is training some of the children to take over. i'm sure most of you know we are losing mrs gleeson. and i'm going to have to rely on all of you in september. this is a book that isn't on the system. 0n the back is a back is a barcode, so you scan that.. and that comes there. and then it will bring it up and it says worm. and it is. takes a little bit of practice. books are so important to these children. i bought these. i can afford to buy a few badges. so i did.
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and i don't mind helping out. it's the little things... we're running short on labels. so, i'm going to have to put in an order for these, and in a way, i feel guilty, asking for money for labels. it's so difficult. the children are losing that help that they need. sorry. i feel quite strong about this. sorry if i'm getting emotional. teaching assistant, jo is taking a group out on beach clean up. guys, girls, just pay attention, can you look on the ground, cos it's the snail mating season. school trips and activities like this will be much harder with fewer staff next term. so we look around and if we see rubbish on the floors
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and that we pick it up, but if it's glass or to or something like that we leave it and let teacher get it. eurgh! miss, can we run up? yeah run up and meet me at the top. 13 full time tas have been told five of them will be selected for redundancy. i have to wait for confirmation if i'm staying or if i'm going be made redundant. i've done my best. i'm still working hard as i can. to make the process fair, the tas are having their skills assessed before decisions are made, so single mum, jo, just has to wait. i don't want to stress anymore. i was stressing a lot and that was affecting me and my son's relationship. ijust zen and i will go with the flow. guys what's falling upon us? rain! god's tears. what do you think we should do now?
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head back to school. we're going to head back to school. have you got yourjacket off? my name is emily and i am 9. quickly. read your books please while you're eating your toast. mum hasn't got a lot of money. so she has to spend her money wisely. mum hasn't been paid, so can we have a food package after school please? of course you can darling. yeah, no problem at all. sometimes mum has to use the foodbank. it'sjust like, "we have to use the foodbank today, 0k we have to use the foodbank now." debbie has decided the wellbeing team and the foodbank must be protected from the cuts. hello! let's put you on the big chair. emily's mum is sandy, she works part time but still finds
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it difficult to make ends meet. thank you so much for this. oh you're welcome, you're more than welcome, you know that thank you for these wonderful food parcels. you know if you ever need any volunteers, i really wanna give back the school has helped so much. right chickeroons. i will see you all tomorrow. byeee. have a nice evening. thank you miss beales! giving food parcels to families that are in need. for many families the foodbank and the wellbeing team are a lifeline. morning. what's daddy got for me? oh wow! i wasn't expecting something quite that big. i'm just going to add it into the baby section. someone will use it. absolutely. he's not using it no more so. cos you're a big boy now aren't you? that's really kind of you, thank you for bringing it in. i can't believe what the school have done they're just supposed to teach the kids, look afterthem. they should help the community, but it's not theirjob is it. theirjob is to come in and teach. and what they've done is so far
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above what i expected. and i was new to this school i was three days into this school and i was left as a single parent. i don't know what i would have done without you lot. not just with the foodbank. more than happy to help, you know that. i really appreciate it. i do. i know you do. and just by doing that. and when i get more money in i will bring some more stuff in don't worry. the school have helped me get back on my feet. and i want to help as much as i can because i can at the moment. a tin of milk is nothing really. it's not enough to say thank you. we see the struggles that some of our families have and they have nowhere to turn to, nowhere to go to, it might be forfood, it might be for advice, it might be due to domestic abuse, it might be for a whole host of reasons. that's why i sometimes describe the school as the fourth emergency service. come on mylie. but while the foodbank has been saved some of the extra services have to be cut.
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just take one at a time. although parents pay for their children to stay in the after school club, it's also subsidised by the school. that looks like a chicken nugget. lucy has one year left in primary school. my mum's at work and and so i have to come here every wednesdays and thursdays. so that's probably why everybody else is here. but the cuts mean the club has to go. i have to move school because they have to stop after school club. melanie is lucy's mum. i work, child care is expensive and i do need to have after school care. i've got no family here, so it's me that has to collect her from school. so if there was no afterschool care, then i think i'd be very stuck. i've got no other choice apart from move schools now. i think it's very upsetting, because i mean just because of one thing i have to leave the school. see you later. bye. it's sad, cos i have to leave all my friends. we won't be able to finish school together so that's pretty sad. the school's application for extra
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send funding is still pending. step...step. and tracey is due to leave at the end of term. cos i know you've got big muscles. and step. slow, slow, slow. today is ellison's transition day, so reception are going into the year 1 class to see what it will be like. welcome everyone, it's really lovely to meet you all. your class will be called 1 lime. we're going to start off with a game called 'fruit salad'. apple pear, banana, apple, pear banana. on your marks, get set — go! is it too much? do you want to sit in your black chair? you're sitting too much in your black chair. with tracey‘s encouragement, ellison can join in.
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ellison's going to choose for me. dancing?! but year1 teacher rachel is worried about how she and the class ta will cope without tracey. are you looking forward to year 1 ellison? we're looking forward to it. it's great that you go altogether, sometimes ellison will struggle with that, so he could get left behind. i think that's what we're worried about. it's dealing with his... his physical needs. if you've got ellison and then you've got another one kicking off and then 27 other children. i suppose we've got to be able to trust that actually we can say to the rest of the class, "just get on with what you're doing. i'm going to be a few minutes with ellison," and just hope
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that they all do what you've asked them to. as the school year draws to a close, debbie has an important announcement for the teaching assistants whose jobs have been under threat. this is some good news. in that although we're still losing people likejohn who are not on contracts, those who went through the audit process, none of those people would need to lose their position this year. two tas have ta ken voluntary redundancy and two teachers are leaving, so overall debbie has enough savings to avoid further job losses. doesn't mean that we won't have to go through with it next year, cos i don't know yet whether we do or not. if they were to say we'd be made redundant again would it be the same time? it would be. we'll have to see what comes into next year's budget. they'll have to do something. we're still going to be a number of bodies down in september. i think it was 13 in all at the beginning so you can thank jenny for getting pregnant and thank
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christine for leaving and. . .. it's the end of term. keira and the rest of the year 6s are giving a leaving concert. i think i'm gonna miss all the teachers cos they have been there to support me. kids sing: # once i was in primary... the council has granted the school extra send funding, but for one term only. with the other savings, this means ellison's support worker tracey can be re—employed... ..for now. but lucas' parents have decided they have to take him out of a mainstream school to help with his autism. they gave everything they could for him, which has been amazing. we've seen such great progress with him. i would have hoped that he could
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have stayed in mainstream. but if they are making so many cuts i don't think it's going to be possible. lucas! can i have a cuddle? oh thank you! see you! byejamie! anybody that says there's fat to be trimmed in school budgets needs to come and see the skeleton that's left because there isn't anything on the bones anymore. there's nothing there that can be cut. it is reaching a crisis point now. unless there are changes going forward, it's going to get worse. well, come september, the worry is that we start all over again. no minister was available for interview but on friday the prime minister pledged an additional £700 million next year for children with special educational needs and disabilities. and he guaranteed all primary schools in england a minimum level of funding of £4,000 a year per pupil, starting in 2021.
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hello there. we are ending the week ona hello there. we are ending the week on a rather unsettled note thanks to another area of low pressure which will bring blustery conditions to oui’ will bring blustery conditions to our shores. you will bring blustery conditions to our shores. you can see will bring blustery conditions to our shores. you can see here moving across the north of scotland through the day, fairly tightly packed isobars, meaning windy weather, and this cold front rain band across central areas in the morning will spread its way south of the nieces through the day, becoming confined to southern counties of england. behind it, brightens up. sunshine
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and blustery showers, some of these heavy across the north—west but on the wind it is going to feel quite chilly. temperatures of 14 to may 18 degrees in the south. that then clears away during friday night and into saturday, and indeed for much of the weekend it will look fine and settled thanks to a ridge of high pressure. we will still have fairly windy conditions across the eastern side of the country. one or two showers around. other otherwise many places will be dry with lengthy spells of sunshine. 14 to maybe 20 degrees in the south. chilly start to sunday under that ridge of high but again, with high pressure, it's going to be lighter winds and plenty of sunshine.
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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: britain's prime minister says he'd rather be 'dead in a ditch' than ask the european union for a further delay to brexit. it costs £1 billion a month, it achieves absolutely nothing, what on earth is the point of further delay. the devastation of hurricane dorian in the bahamas — at least 70,000 people need urgent help a special report fom alaska, where developers want president trump to remove environmental protections in america's largest national forest. and the first female rapper to officially sell 100 million albums and singles, nicki minaj, has announced her

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