School Funding Exposed In Channel 4 Documentary

School Funding Exposed In Channel 4 Documentary

school funding

Channel 4’s The Secret Teacher is sending a business man undercover as a teaching assistant to see how bad the school funding crisis truly is. Paul Rowlett only passed one GCSE, but he went on to found multi-million-pound marketing business EverythingBranded.co.uk. For the series, which started last week, he spent six weeks undercover at Haileybury Turnford School in Hertfordshire.

One scene from the documentary which stands out as particularly shocking saw Paul join a year 11 lesson which saw the head of English teach two classes at once because of staff shortages. Mr Rowlett said: “A class full of 60 kids? I mean, how can a teacher do the job? It’s near impossible, surely.”

He told the teacher that “disruption in that class, that’s a nightmare”. Afterwards he added: “I just don’t even know where to start. Sixty kids in a class and no whiteboard to actually teach from because they had to put them in the library.


school funding

Deputy head Kath Just gave Mr Rowlett a tour of the school grounds and at one point told him she would love to invest more in the school buildings but there just wasn’t enough money. The entrepreneur, who joined the Royal Navy after school added: “Knowing how much tax I pay and the business pays, this is a joke. It shouldn’t be like this.”

Kath summed up her feelings on the matter:

State education should be the jewel in the crown, really, because these students are the people of the future, and what do we show them? We don’t value you. You’re not worth that nice new shiny building, and I think that’s sad, actually. Really sad.

At the end of his first day, Mr Rowlett spoke to the camera and detailed how he appreciates how hard it is to work in schools:

The school, it’s a very, very emotional, physically draining, mentally draining place. I’m not scared of hard work – that’s why I’ve been successful – but this is a different kind of hard work. I’m trying not to feel like I’m out of my depth here.

Is Everyone Aware Of The School Funding Crisis?

Before Paul started at the school, Kath suggested that he might be about to learn a pretty tough lesson:

I think Paul is coming in without a full understanding of some of the challenges that schools face. There are times when we just can’t even afford to buy exercise books, and that is a terrible feeling.

I think it’s safe to say that we all understand the immense difficulties facing school when it comes to funding, and as a byproduct of the funding crisis – staffing issues. The people that perhaps haven’t always fully understood are the general public. This series looks to shine a light on the difficulties facing teachers and therefore pupils day in, day out.

But what do you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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