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Education

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2018

National Funding Formula: Social Mobility

The following is an extract from the Westminster Hall debate on the National Funding Formula: Social Mobility on 22 May 2018.

The Minister is talking about fairness and equity in the system, but what does he say to a school in the north-east that, according to the National Education Union, is set to lose £8,000 per pupil? How is that fair?

What the NEU is doing with its school cuts campaign is misleading. It is taking the cost pressures that we have acknowledged and telling the public that those are funding cuts. I have been clear that no school has had a funding cut. School funding went up in real terms per pupil in the last Parliament, and that increase has been maintained in real terms.

[Official Report, 22 May 2018, Vol. 641, c. 326WH.]

Letter of correction from Nick Gibb:

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck) in the Westminster Hall debate.

What the NEU is doing with its school cuts campaign is misleading. It is taking the cost pressures that we have acknowledged and telling the public that those are funding cuts. I have been clear that no school has had a funding cut. School funding went up in real terms per pupil between 2010 and 2015. Since then, funding has been maintained in real terms.

The following is an extract from the Westminster Hall debate on the National Funding Formula: Social Mobility on 22 May 2018.

Does the Minister understand the frustration not just of the teaching profession but of parents? I am a governor at one of the schools in Oxfordshire that he mentioned. Perhaps he is suggesting that the board of governors and I are not managing our money or resources properly. I assure him that we are doing everything we can for this issue not to affect frontline services, but it does. My question is simple: does the Minister accept that although he can spout numbers—it is true; these are facts—the reality on the ground in schools such as Botley Primary School in my constituency is that teachers are at breaking point, and parents are beginning to see the real effects of the cost pressures that are played off against the increases in funding that the Minister lists?

We have to live within our budget, and the Treasury has to work with the tax receipts it receives and deal with the historic budget deficit it inherited. Somebody has to lend the state that money, and they would not lend us £150 billion every year if we showed no sign of reducing that figure to something more manageable and did not plan ultimately to eliminate it altogether. That is what is happening. That is why we have a strong economy and the lowest level of unemployment for 40 years, why there are opportunities for young people to have a job once they leave our school system, and why fewer children are living in workless households. That is all part of how to manage the public sector in a serious way, which is what the Government have been doing since 2010. That is why we have been able to maintain school funding in real terms over that period, spend £23 billion on capital funding for schools, and fund an increase of 825,000 school places to deal with the increasing pupil population.

[Official Report, 22 May 2018, Vol. 641, c. 328WH.]

Letter of correction from Nick Gibb:

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Layla Moran) in the Westminster Hall debate.

We have to live within our budget, and the Treasury has to work with the tax receipts it receives and deal with the historic budget deficit it inherited. Somebody has to lend the state that money, and they would not lend us £150 billion every year if we showed no sign of reducing that figure to something more manageable and did not plan ultimately to eliminate it altogether. That is what is happening. That is why we have a strong economy and the lowest level of unemployment for 40 years, why there are opportunities for young people to have a job once they leave our school system, and why fewer children are living in workless households. That is all part of how to manage the public sector in a serious way, which is what the Government have been doing since 2010. That is why we have been able to maintain school funding in real terms over that period, invest £23 billion on capital funding for schools between 2016-17 and 2020-21, and fund an increase of 825,000 school places to deal with the increasing pupil population.