School Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:32 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby 6:32 pm, 25th January 2017

Many parents are attracted to my constituency by the excellence of its schools. I look forward to visiting Oakfield Primary Academy and Brownsover Community School this Friday. We have a broad range of schools, including a bilateral school that provides co-educational grammar school places, which is incredibly popular and oversubscribed.

Under the consultation, Warwickshire will remain one of the counties with the lowest funding at £4,293 per pupil. That is among the lowest figures we have heard today. It is a credit to the heads and staff of the many schools in my constituency that they achieve such excellence with that sum. There will be a 1.1% increase, which is very welcome. That will affect 29 schools in my constituency, most of which are rural primaries. Nine schools will receive the same or rather less. In many cases, those are the excellent secondaries to which I have just referred, one of which will lose £90,000 a year. Of course, many of those schools have sixth forms and so face a particular challenge because there are smaller classes and they want to offer specialist subjects—often the very A-levels that lead to the qualifications that our country so badly needs.

Since coming to office, the Government have been steadfast in their commitment to ensuring that all children, irrespective of their background and where they live, get a world-class education. This consultation levels the system out. It will be a fairer system. The shadow Secretary of State spoke about cuts. There are no cuts. The Secretary of State has made it very clear that the overall budget will remain the same. This is about ensuring that we allocate the funds within our system fairly and that there is a level playing field for pupils across our country.