Department for Education

Part of Estimates Day – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 5:19 pm, 3rd July 2018

Of course I acknowledge that, but the hon. Lady also has to acknowledge that school funding is at a record level—£42.4 billion this year, rising to £43.5 billion next year. Of course I acknowledge there are costs that schools have absorbed, and I will come to the measures we have taken to help schools to deal with those rising costs, which include employers’ national insurance contributions. Those costs have been absorbed by the private sector, and they have been incurred across the public sector—public sector pensions have also been an increased cost across Whitehall. We are helping schools to address those issues.

By prioritising frontline spending within the Department’s budget, we have ensured that core funding for schools and high needs has risen over and above the allocations set out at the last spending review. The total core schools and high needs budget will rise from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion by 2019-20.

James Frith mentioned Ofsted, and he pointed out that pupil numbers have increased. Of course he is right, which is why we have created 825,000 new school places since 2010, in contrast with the cut of 100,000 school places under the last Labour Government, despite the increased birth rate being very clear even then.

Sixty-eight per cent. of schools were judged good or outstanding by Ofsted in 2010, compared with 89% today. Although outstanding schools are exempt from routine inspection, Ofsted will trigger an inspection if academic results begin to slide in an outstanding school. The schools in the constituency of the hon. Member for Bury North will see a 6.9% per pupil increase in funding once the national funding formula is fully implemented.

The shadow Minister thanked Conservative Members, and I would like to thank Labour Members for their contributions to this debate because it gives me the opportunity to point out to Julie Cooper that schools in her constituency will see a 3.2% increase in funding as a result of the introduction of the national funding formula. Mr McFadden will see a 3.5% per pupil increase at the end point of the introduction of the national funding formula. Ian Mearns will see an increase of 3.4% per pupil under the NFF. Emma Hardy will see a 4.2% increase in per pupil funding as a consequence of the introduction of the NFF. She also talked about teaching assistants, and I should point out to her that in January 2010 there were 194,000 full-time equivalent TAs in our schools, whereas today there are 263,000 TAs. Finally, I should point out to Matt Rodda that schools in his constituency face a 3.9% increase in pupil funding.