School Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:55 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Mary Creagh Mary Creagh Chair, Environmental Audit Committee 5:55 pm, 25th January 2017

The hon. Lady reinforces my point, which is that the Government must take into account rising pupil numbers. This formula and the efficiency savings fail to do that, so she needs to have a word with her Secretary of State about them.

We cannot have a situation in which there is just not enough money to go around to educate all children well. In Wakefield, we will see 1,000 more pupils start school in September and yet no money has been allocated for that increase, which means that the schools and the pupils will miss out. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that schools in England face the steepest cuts to funding since the 1970s.

Despite those circumstances, headteachers such as Martin Fenton at Greenhill Primary, Rob Marsh at Cathedral Academy, and Georgina Haley at Netherton Junior and Infant School are doing excellent work in my constituency to improve the life chances of children in Wakefield. I urge the Secretary of State to drop her grammar school plans, revise the national funding formula for schools, and make sure that we do not go back to the bad old days. I was at school at the same time as she was. I had to pay £12 for my O-level physics textbook, and we did not have a teacher for two years in the good old days of the 1984 teaching budgets. We do not want to go back to those days.