I shall be brief. I fully support funding every school in the same way, creating a level playing field for pupils across the country. In 2010, the Labour Government tried to implement a funding formula. At that time, it was £4,000, and most of it went on private finance initiative schemes, which was why it was never put forward. At a time when more than £40 billion is going into education—the highest amount spent in our history—we should be positive, rather than looking at the policy negatively. We should not have a system in which schools in some areas get less money per pupil, as that makes it harder for them to attract teachers and to put in place the support that students need. For too long, and for no real reason, the disparity of funding throughout the country has been ignored. I was proud to stand on a manifesto that pledged to change that.
I have looked at schoolcuts.org, which is run by the NUT and Association of Teachers and Lecturers unions. Quite frankly, it is irresponsible. Some of the figures on the site have been quoted in the Chamber today, but they have been plucked out of thin air. They are worked out by dividing the money for an area by the maximum money to be claimed per school—it never is—without taking the number of pupils into account. The website published information about areas and schools before the Department even announced any figures. It must have had luminaries and soothsayers like Nostradamus working for it. I am fed up of the unions politicising my children and constituency. There are heads in my area who are unionising the kids to make them strike and stay off school. Surprise, surprise—their schools did the worst in the area, and therefore lowered my area’s results in the national SATs, which is unforgivable.
To wrap up, I think that this is a very good move. I hope that the Government will implement the formula sooner rather than later to give all our children a fair fighting chance.