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School Funding: North-east of England — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:56 am on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Phil Wilson Phil Wilson Labour, Sedgefield 9:56 am, 26th April 2017

I will not. The Minister will have plenty of time to make his comments at the end. I want to get through my speech as other people want to make their comments.

There are also cost pressures and budget changes for the primary schools. For Heighington School in Darlington, which is in my patch, that is £125,000. The primary schools in Sedgefield—Sedgefield Primary School and Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School—will see £120,000-odd changes in their budget. The Minister can shape it any way he wants, but this is affecting schools, teachers and pupils. Headteachers are coming out and saying that, so there is obviously a problem. We can trade figures left, right and centre, but the headteachers are those who know what is happening on the ground.

I want to raise another issue, which is not related to funding but is important to me. It is so important to pupils Christina Davies, Aidan Wong and Melissa Foster from Greenfield School that they came to see me recently. They are concerned about the new GCSEs, where they are treated differently to those in public schools. Only 7% of pupils are in public education—93% are in state schools.