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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

There is an element of truth in that, and it comes down to the core of my next point, on which I would love to hear the Minister’s comments. In state schools, 40% of coursework used to go towards a final GCSE mark, and there was a chance to sit it in January or June. That cannot be done now. If someone does an IGCSE in a public school, they have the chance to do that, and the result is still recognised by employers.

The pupils from Greenfield school who came to see me are asking why they cannot have a level playing field. If they cannot have 40% of their coursework counted towards the GCSE, why is it not the same in public schools or vice versa? They just want a level playing field and for everybody to be treated the same. Why is it that, just because someone can afford to pay for their child’s education, they have a better chance in life than those children of the 93% of parents who do not have the chance and opportunity to send their children to public school? I am not saying do it one way or the other, but let us have a level playing field. It affects the aspirations and social mobility of our children and is fundamentally unfair.