School Funding: East Anglia — [Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:52 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Independent, South Cambridgeshire 4:52 pm, 3rd September 2019

We all agree that any money is welcome, but it is not right to say that our schools can wait for one, two or three years. There is a school in south Cambridgeshire—admittedly not in my constituency, but that of Lucy Frazer—that now has to close on one day a week; it cannot open its doors everyday any more. Accepting that money will not flow so freely—particularly if we have a no-deal Brexit; we all know we will be short of cash then—is it appropriate for the Minister to look at an interim solution? For example, did the hon. Gentleman know that schools across the UK are sitting on surplus reserves of £1.7 billion? To balance the deficit between schools that are underfunded, in counties such as mine, and where they should be, we need £223 million; that figure is more than covered. Would the hon. Gentleman accept that perhaps that is an interim solution, while we are waiting for the money to flow through?