It has been a revelation and a source of amazement to me to hear hon. Members' deliberations on the state of our education system. One has only to visit half a dozen state schools to realise that everywhere disillusioned teachers are struggling to provide a good education for the children in their charge and finding that their task is made more difficult by the Government's action.
In the past decade, we have suffered a cut in investment in the education service and in the future of our children. We spend less of our GDP on education today than we did under the Labour Government, and it is the under-resourcing of the service that is causing so many of the difficulties.
What state can our education service be in when we read of parents being asked by school governors to lob in £50 apiece for teachers to be employed? Do we realise the depth of the crisis when we read that parents in Harpenden, that citadel of Conservatism, have set up Harpenden Parents Against Education Cuts because of the way in which local management of schools is working?