We all know how important education is. Education shapes you, it prepares you for the world.

But even as you read this... our educational system is being commercialised.... without our knowledge.

Chester Yang,  Filmmaker, Lecturer and father of 3 finds himself at the heart of this battle. He has no choice but to point the camera at his community as the battle spreads, he discovers that Academisation has hidden agendas and flaws. He is working on a documentary called The Great Schools robbery to look at the transformation of Schools in England and its effect on teachers, school staff and parents.  We are appealing to you, to seek financial support for completion of the film.  The film tells the story of trade unionists, teachers and parents fighting for fair education for all. Chester started filming 2 years ago after being de-selected as a Parent Governor in his children’s primary school after challenging decisions to turn the school into an academy; he began to investigate, interview the people involved .  Over 2 years later we’re gathering it all and making it into a feature length documentary about the academisation of schools in England and to show what is happening.

The Government created the Academies Act 2010, which has lead us to the point we are at now. The film examines what academisation has meant for schools, children, parents, teachers and support staff. It looks at how Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) can be hundreds of miles away from its schools, where the people in charge have no understanding of the children at the school, the teachers, the community and the needs of that school. How the subject taught and the teaching methods are all the same across MATs, imposing strict rules on pupils, increased workload for teachers, an increase in lack of accountability, transparency and power of parents and teachers diminish. School assets and playing fields given to private charities for nothing. While originally stand-alone academies were introduced to help by means of sponsorship failing schools, this act was forcing schools whether failing or successful to academise. The government is no longer forcing academisation on all state schools (after push back on it) but is putting pressure on them to academise either voluntarily or through inadequate rated Ofsted reports.

As with privatisation, in Academies there's a lack of accountability for how monies are spent. CEOs of MATs are often found to be earning very high salaries, but the schools themselves may have poorly paid teachers, schools are sometimes unable to pay utility bills, and teachers are paying for resoures such as exercise books and other supplies from their own pockets. Many teachers who are often highly experienced are leaving the profession as a consequence of changes due to academisation. The Academies Act presents so many restrictions it virtually prevents the local authorities from building and sponsoring new schools, meaning school populations are becoming larger but the schools themselves poorer. Significantly Academies exclude teachers and parents from many decisions and notably academies have not been shown to improve attainment, but this is not something the general public are aware of.

Please help me to finish making this important film about parents and teachers rising up against the stealthy robbery of our schools....

We need to spark up a national debate, consult stakeholders and find a way to reverse the process of Academisation or at least control it.


Newham Spring & The Great School Robbery is a feature-length documentary, observing and investigating how the UK public education system is being transformed. The film is a fascinating and powerful story of the uprising of the parents and the teachers in resisting the takeover of their schools by private charities. And how power is being taken away from the parents and the teachers.

We follow a few key characters as they fight for their communities and their schools : Shaunagh, the parent who turned investigator in order for her voice to be heard and respected. Salema, a parent who with the help of her community managed to change the law for how consultations are implemented. Miriam, a former teacher and now avid campaigner for schools and their communities.  Kevin, former Governor but as Chester, he was bullied out because he didn't believe in the acadamisation of their school. Chester, the filmmaker of this film and his journey as he documents this up rising and more.... 


This film charts the history of education and the welfare state and explains how we find ourselves in this situation where public services are being given away to private companies.

The film reveals how people in power are abusing their position to manipulate funding for personal gain, it reveals how almost £1billion has already been spent to privatise schools, money which should have been spent on teachers, pupils and the schools.

Once a school is Academised it cannot revert back to public hands.

Today, over 72% of secondary and 42% of Primary schools with their land and assets have been privatised. 


From the beginning of the process of Academisation has been hidden from the public and only now, because of the campaigns, the effects of the Academies Act 2010 is revealing itself and the evidence is coming to life and the actual dangers it has on our future generations is becoming clear.

The Great Schools Robbery film is paramount to the debate on education, the dismantling of the welfare state, the rise of inequality, hate and lack of democracy in forging a progressive way forward for humanity. The film will give an honest and unbiased view on the path the country has taken to reform education and society. 

Our aim for the film is to start a national debate, that recognises the negative impact of academisation and the conflict between what is good for our children, and privatisation by stealth. We want this debate to collectivise parents, teachers and support staff allowing them to come up with an inclusive, democratic and well funded solution for our education system.  The film will be screened in local communities to reach as many people as possible, to shine a light on what is taking place as well as being screened within various trade unions and at film festivals.

Our team needs help to complete the film.  We wanted to ask if you could make a donation to help us complete the film? Your support of this very important film is much appreciated.


2 years on, many campaigns won and lost. I have almost finished filming and I am now in post-production. At the moment I need funding to complete the film, (transcribing interviews and editing 100's of hours of footage takes time.)         

I need to pay the editors, animator and to re-construct certain key scenes. Pay legal cost, music  composer, colour grader, sound mix, hard drives and more.  



Making these sorts of films is my life’s work.  I document the relationship and the gaps that exists between the people, the government and the private companies. I believe it's important to be informed so we can make the right choices for a better future for all.

Over the past years 16 years I have documented crucial events in the political and social battles between the state and the people, such as the student riots and the anti-war movement.

My films have been broadcasts worldwide on Sky, HD Freeview, Russian TV, RT, Together Films and Internationally. 

War Matters (2013 )-
Kettling of the Voices (2015) -
Sierra Leone's Disgruntled Youth (2018) -

See more of Chester Yang's work on 


CREW list
Producer, Director and Editor - Chester Yang
Post Producer and Editor -  Nikita Woolfe 
Sofia Pages - Researcher, Assistant Camera and Editor
Mari Gurruchagha - Production Manager
Sara Augusto - Animator
Eliana Verissimo - Music Composer

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Chester Yang 
Dartford, South East England, United Kingdom
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