There have been no cuts in funding to schools. There have been cost pressures, as I have acknowledged time and time again, that schools have absorbed, as have other parts of the public sector and parts of the private sector. There have been cost pressures of higher taxes, higher employer’s national insurance contributions and higher employer’s contribution to the teachers’ pension scheme, because we believe it is right that teachers’ pensions are properly funded, but I am telling the hon. Lady and this House that spending will rise in real terms on a per pupil basis.
I will now come to the issue she raised about her schools. As a consequence of the consultation process, we introduced a de minimis funding level for the very lowest funded schools. We introduced a de minimis funding level of £4,800 per pupil for the very lowest funded secondary schools in the country. St Mary’s College in the hon. Lady’s constituency received £5,625 per pupil, and that will rise by 1% to £5,680 according to the national funding formula. The national average under the national funding formula for a secondary school is £5,389. On top of that, the school will also receive £935 per pupil for every pupil who qualifies or has ever qualified for free school meals over the past six years.