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Per Pupil Funding

Volume 669: debated on Tuesday 7 January 2020

First, Mr Speaker, may I associate myself with the message you have just sent to our Australian friends? I also take this opportunity to wish you and all hon. Members a happy new year.

At last year’s spending round, I announced a £7.1 billion increase in schools funding for 2022-23 compared with this year. That will level up funding across the country and ensure at least £5,000 a year for every secondary school pupil next year and £4,000 a year for every primary school pupil in 2021-22.

During the election campaign, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor visited Bolton Lads and Girls Club, which is a real hub for inspiring our children. Does the Chancellor agree that the uplift in funding for schoolchildren right across Bolton North East will ensure that our young people fulfil their true potential?

I remember that visit, and I was incredibly impressed by the club.

May I say how delighted I am to see my hon. Friend take his place in this House? I agree with him wholeheartedly. Our plans will ensure that funding for every pupil in every school can rise at least in line with inflation. Schools in Bolton North East will attract £4,800 per pupil in 2020-21 on average and, based on the current number of pupils, that means a 7.7% total cash increase.

Having grown up in Bristol, the Chancellor will be familiar with the education system there, but we have a crisis in funding for special educational needs provision. More children are coming forward with special educational needs, but we do not have the funding to support them. I urge him to pay some attention to that and to donate the necessary funds to remedy the problem.

I agree with the hon. Lady about the importance of making sure that special educational needs are properly funded. That is precisely why in the last spending round I increased spending by £780 million, which I believe is the biggest increase in a decade.

My right hon. Friend, coming from the west midlands, will know that Staffordshire has historically been one of the most underpaid counties per pupil. How will his changes affect counties such as Staffordshire and others in the f40?

My hon. Friend is right to raise this issue. He has been a champion of fairer funding for schools, especially in the west midlands, and I agree with him about the importance of this issue. That is precisely why, in the spending round, we made an exception for schools by having a three-year settlement, which means there will be a £7.1 billion increase for schools throughout England by 2022-23, helping to bring fairer funding.