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Department for Education

Part of Supplementary Estimate 2018-19 – in the House of Commons at 2:53 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee 2:53 pm, 26th February 2019

My hon. Friend tees me up for my next point. He also raises an important point. It is a political disease to ask schools to do more all the time and very often assume that it can just be done without the additional funding. It is important that the Secretary of State and his ministerial team watch closely that, while other bits of Government suggest that schools do things, there is the funding in place for that and for the core of what they should be delivering. It was after the general election and as a result of that campaign and that pressure on the Government, who were then elected without a majority, that the Secretary of State announced £1.3 billion of additional funding, which was weighted towards next year. This year, schools are in the throes of receiving the £416 million that was announced for this year and will receive £884 million in aggregate across England for next year. But that—the £3 billion figure—does not even backfill those efficiency demands that were asked for before. It is important that we recognise—in fact, the Government have recognised this—that we need 599,000 school places, which is as a result of the increase between 2010 and 2015. We are very concerned about the pressure on school budgets.