Education has the power to change lives. As the motion recognises, it helps children to fulfil their potential. Like many Members of Parliament, I have campaigned to ensure that my constituency gets its share of funding through a new, fairer funding formula, because it has been historically underfunded. I want to see a formula with a significant element allocated to core funding, to ensure that every school has the funds it needs. Funding for good education is not only important, but necessary.
I want to focus, for a moment, on the implicit suggestion in the motion that it is the Government’s funding decisions that are inhibiting children from reaching their full potential. Funding on its own is insufficient to ensure excellence. Let me give two examples. The first relates to early years. In its 2016 report, Ofsted emphasised the success of our early-years education. When it came to recommendations, it said not that more money was needed but that parents needed to take up the education opportunities that were already being offered. It reported that 113,000 children who would have benefited from early-years were simply not taking up Government-funded places.