Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have never, in my eight years in Parliament, actually had a running commentary on any speech, so clearly I must have hit a nerve. It is absolutely extraordinary, this constant chuntering.
The facts are very clear. We have had higher standards in the past eight years—[Interruption.] I do not think that is particularly funny, if we look at the wreckage of the last Labour Government. We have a comprehensive spending review next year when we will be allocating even more resources to education and to schools than ever before. We have more teachers. We have higher attainment. We have higher standards than ever before. In the context of the disaster that Labour presided over in respect of the public finances, what this Government have done over the past eight years is to be commended.
In my constituency there are six schools in the maintained sector—very good secondary schools. Every single one of them has seen standards improve and has seen additional amounts of money. We have seen, with one exception, additional amounts of money put to pupils’ use for books, attainment and driving up standards. I would just say that we in Spelthorne would like to see some degree of equalisation between the London allowances that London teachers have and the amount that teachers in our borough receive. We are just outside London. Many of our teachers feel that because they do not have London weighting, even though the costs in the borough are level with those in London, we would like some sort of adjustment, if that were possible. Overall, though, while the picture is not perfect—very little is perfect—we are on a much, much better footing than was ever the case, certainly when I started in my role in 2010.