Yes, clearly the lack of resources in schools and the loss of jobs mean that attention cannot be given to important issues, which is a real detriment to the people affected.
The second part of my speech is about what these figures mean for our schools: for the staff, the governors, the parents, but most of all, for the pupils in each and every school. I am sure that other Members will indulge me if I talk about the schools in my constituency; I have no doubt that many of them will wish to share experiences from their own schools.
Last Friday, I visited Portobello Primary School in Birtley. During my visit, the headteacher and governors of this great community school told me about their concerns about funding pressures. In the last year, they have lost four valuable members of staff to redundancy: a higher level teaching assistant with 20 years’ experience in early years education; an experienced teacher who led on the arts curriculum; a highly skilled teaching assistant who was trained in supporting children with medical and educational needs; and a dedicated school counsellor, who supported young children with their mental health.