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It is a pleasure to follow Layla Moran, but I cannot agree with what she had to say. Indeed, when I look at the positive measures in the Queen’s Speech, it is the news on schools and school funding that shines out and gives me real hope for the future of our country and, indeed, for children in Cheltenham.
I am sure that the House can agree that education is probably the single most powerful tool to drive social mobility. That is certainly essential in Cheltenham, because there is a misapprehension about the place I represent. It may be that hon. Members take the view, perhaps after heading down to the incredibly successful Cheltenham literature festival, that it is a land of unalloyed affluence, but nothing could be further from the truth. Of the 18 wards that I represent, the income per capita in three of them is in the bottom decile not just in Gloucestershire, not just in the south-west, not just in England, but across the entire United Kingdom. This Government realise that schools and education can do the most valuable job of bridging that gap.