School Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:36 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Oliver Colvile Oliver Colvile Conservative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport 6:36 pm, 25th January 2017

I will be brief, pithy and to the point, if possible.

I am a school governor of St Andrew’s primary school, which is in a very deprived community. I have to tell the Secretary of State and the Minister that there is an 11 to 12-year difference in life expectancy between the north-east of my constituency and the south-west, around Devonport, so I understand some of the issues of deprivation. Moreover, in the 1980s, I was the agent to the Education Minister who introduced the local management of schools, the national curriculum and other such things.

I am grateful to the Government for taking a fresh look at the funding formula. My constituency has done quite well—we have an increase of about 4% for schools, which is incredibly good news. The one concern is what happens to the grammar schools. I am incredibly grateful to my hon. Friend the Minister for Schools Standards for agreeing to meet my grammar schools to talk about how they could improve their position.

My constituency has a very good education offer. We have not only three grammar schools, but a university technical college and a creative arts school. I am grateful to the coalition Government and this Government for delivering on that. Without further ado, I conclude by saying: carry on going, and please do not let anyone down.