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Why Are London’s Schools Disappearing? | Podcast

Over the past year, the number of schoolchildren enrolled at schools in inner London boroughs has been falling at an alarming rate. Headteachers in areas such as Lambeth, Camden and Southwark are finding that it is hitting their funding and making it impossible for some schools to remain open.

The Guardian’s senior economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty set out to discover why and found that at the heart of the story was gentrification. He tells Nosheen Iqbal how young working-class families are being priced out of these areas in ever greater numbers. Unable to afford to live in such areas, they are moving to further boroughs such as Barking and Dagenham. And all this is leading to a transformation of the city – and raising questions about who has the right to live and work in it.

It’s a pattern that is being repeated across the country. But what will it mean if the centre of cities become childless? One headteacher discusses how it feels to be running a school in an area ‘hollowed out’ by gentrification, and tells us his fears for the future.

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