School Funding

Treasury – in the House of Commons on 7th July 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on ensuring adequate funding for schools.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I regularly meet the Secretary of State for Education to discuss school funding. We are providing a £1 billion package to help students catch up on lost learning, and that sits alongside the £100 million to boost remote education and the additional £7.1 billion of core funding for schools that we announced at the 2019 spending round.

Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

I know that my right hon. Friend enjoyed his time in Stoke-on-Trent during winter last year, but he will also know that, sadly, the area of Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove and Talke is ranked in the bottom 20% of the social mobility index. Sadly, we are also well below the national averages in both young and old taking up courses at levels 3 and 4. Will he set out the steps that the Department is taking to support further education? Does he agree that post-16 providers, such as Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, play a vital role in levelling up opportunity and upskilling and retraining both young and old, enabling them to be better off than those before them?

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

As a former teacher, my hon. Friend speaks with great authority on such issues. I absolutely agree that a strong post-16 education system is vital to our recovery. That is why we have applied a range of flexibilities to the usual funding arrangements, and the Department for Education has set out further details.