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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:57 am on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Sharon Hodgson Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health) 10:57 am, 26th April 2017

Yes, it might be the job of my hon. Friend Mrs Lewell-Buck. I am sure she will be putting this all right. That will be a great day indeed, and I look forward to it.

Sadly, the Minister did not make any such commitment. I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields will, so I look forward to that day. The Minister instead referred to the fairer funding formula, telling hon. Members that we were wrong. He cited a few examples of schools that may be a little bit better off with regard to the funding formula, and he read out a list to try to make that point, but he is missing the bigger point, which is that the national funding formula is being used as a smokescreen. We all agree with fairer funding for schools across the country, but this is being used to hide the real-terms cuts and pay for the other four pressures on school budgets that I highlighted in my speech, such as the pay rise, the national living wage, the apprenticeship levy and trying to fix the schools that are falling to pieces.

I am sorry that we have not made progress on this issue today. I remind the Minister that the electorate is watching; they are watching all of us, and I am confident that they will make their verdict on this at the ballot box on 8 June. Hopefully it will be my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields who can fix this when we come back to this place in June.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered school funding in the north east of England.