Inside the school funding crisis with Katie Strick

Richard Slade — headteacher at Plumcroft Primary School in Greenwich — is listing some of the heartbreaking decisions he’s had to make as a result of crippling real terms school budget cuts: reducing the quantity and quality of school trips; not being able to replace classroom iPads when they break; buildings and playground equipment falling into disrepair; and — most tragically yet — not being able to replace a senior teacher who recently died of cancer because the alternative would be to let vulnerable children go unsupported. Slade is only three years away from retirement, so isn’t afraid to stick his head above the parapet. But while he is one of only a small number of headteachers willing to speak out, his school is far from the only one on the verge of closure because it does not have enough money to function properly. Here Katie Strick investigates the school funding crisis.