Panorama Opportunity: Education Funding Crisis

Date: 11.04.17
Voice has received a request from the makers of BBC Panorama, who are preparing a programme on school funding cuts. Find out more about the proposed feature and how you can get involved.

Voice has received a request from the makers of BBC Panorama, who are preparing a programme on school funding cuts. If you are interested in taking part, know someone who might be, or have any useful information, please contact Louis Lee Ray from the Panorama team on 07756 737 636 or at Louis.Leeray@bbc.co.uk. Don’t forget to contact Voice too, so we can make sure we work with Panorama to get the best coverage for our members, email us at marketing@voicetheunion.org.uk.

More about the opportunity:

The producers are looking to do something “across a couple of months in the final term of this school year” with “heads/teachers making difficult decisions while teachers/students are getting ready for (and then taking) exams”. 

They “want to film with teachers working hard to make the best of the tough situation they find themselves in and pupils studying to do well in their exams in circumstances their predecessors wouldn’t have experienced”.

They want to include:

  • “Cuts to staffing (and the different impact that has on primary vs. secondary) – class sizes going up, teachers/teaching assistants being laid off, less provision for children with more difficult teaching requirements, subjects being cut, potentially cutting number of school hours, cutting of time for a level students access to teaching time and teachers leaving the profession after just a few years in it.
  • “What schools are doing to lessen the impact of cuts – whether that’s renting buildings out, not buying new equipment, struggling to renovate buildings, using school grounds for advertising space, writing to parents asking for money, stopping school trips, selling on school grounds and so on.”

They wish to:

  • “film as heads are having to make these kinds of tough decisions and really having to think hard the impact that they’re likely to have on their schools…both behind the scenes as the decisions are being made as well as with teachers working hard to deliver the best classes they can”; and
  • “film in a bit more depth with certain people at certain schools – whether that’s specific headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, or pupils and their families” to “aim to illustrate some of the points mentioned above and build a personal narrative with those characters”.

“It would be good to get a sense of how these decisions are being made in schools in different areas and with different levels of Ofsted rating – if possible from inadequate up to outstanding. Are cuts putting schools’ outstanding rating at jeopardy? How are schools that are already finding things tricky coping with cuts? And – as mentioned above – in a mix of primary and secondary schools.”