School Funding — [Sir David Crausby in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:19 pm on 4th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Conservative, South Suffolk 5:19 pm, 4th March 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but, if we were disadvantaging the other schools in Suffolk, standards in Suffolk would not be improving. The statistics show very strong improvement in Suffolk. In March this year, just under 90% of Suffolk schools held Ofsted ratings of “good” or “outstanding” compared with 72% in December 2013. We have seen significant improvements in GCSEs: 64% of students in Suffolk now achieve the expected standard in English and maths, putting Suffolk in the top third of local authorities. The county has risen from 67th to 42nd out of 151 local authorities ranked on Progress 8 schools, which is a significant improvement. If Lowestoft and Ipswich, our biggest towns, were struggling to badly, we would not be attaining such improvements.

I have only one minute left, so I will make my key point. Yes, spending is important, but, with respect, Opposition Members focus relentlessly on that when standards and outcomes are what ultimately matter. What matters is the education our children achieve, the grades they get, how our country performs, and how they will be able to compete in a global marketplace.