Department for Education

Part of Estimates Day – in the House of Commons at 2:53 pm on 3rd July 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee 2:53 pm, 3rd July 2018

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will come on to those points later, and if he does not feel that I have responded to them, I would be happy for him to intervene again.

In truth, the £1.3 billion should never have been necessary. While the introduction of a national funding formula is an entirely logical and necessary process of structural reform, for many schools the question is one of sufficiency just as much as of equity. The concept of fair funding may, I fear, be just too subjective to be delivered, so I want to see a change in the debate in this Chamber and elsewhere about school funding. The two supposedly competing accounts—one from the Conservative side of the House about record levels of overall investment going into schools, and the counter-argument that schools face real-terms reductions in per pupil funding—are both true, partly because there are simply more pupils in the system. We badly need to accept that reality, and move towards a practical solution not just for schools, but for further education, which has, without any sense or logic, been chronically underfunded for many years.