Education Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:04 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 6:04 pm, 3rd September 2019

I might have to declare an interest.

I have seen the impact that teaching assistants have had on so many children’s lives. We all know that teachers can transform what a child can achieve in a classroom, and teaching assistants are an important part of that. I hoped Angela Rayner would welcome the new £30,000 starting salary for those coming into teaching. It is an important and bold move that shows the value we put on the teaching profession, as we value all those who teach—not just those just joining the profession, but those who have been in it for many years, which is why in my statement I made it clear that part of that money was to ensure they benefit from pay rises as well. As the hon. Lady will know, 85% of the spend of a school is on its workforce, which is why we have ensured such an important and large financial settlement over the next three years.

Let us look at what the Opposition have done. They have opposed every reform that has driven up standards, driven up attainment, driven up the life chances of children in this country. What will they do in the future? They will oppose every reform and change that we introduce to drive up the life chances of children in this country. Even when we bring forward the largest funding announcement for schools in a generation, they do not have the good grace to welcome it.