This is a government that stands against aspiration for deprived children.
WATCH – Putting the Secretary of State on the spot with the facts which prove the government has brought biggest cuts.
Mr Speaker: We now come to Shadow Minister, Toby Perkins.
Toby Perkins: Well, thank you, Mr Speaker and I am more interested in the Government’s record than their rhetoric when it comes to academic inequality. The IFS Annual Review of Education revealed that since 2010 the most deprived secondary schools suffered a 14% in spending. The most affluent schools, just 9% and the new National Funding Formula makes this disparity worse. The Government’s 10 years of FE cuts also fell harder on poorer students. We all know that this is a government that stands against aspiration for deprived children and increases inequality as those figures stress. Why don’t they at least have the courage to admit it?
Secretary of State. I am grateful to you Mr Speaker and my Hon. Friend makes some powerful points but are completely misguided. He speaks with great passion but without looking at the evidence that is before us. The past 12 years has demonstrated that schools have been on an improvement journey. When we came to office only 2/3 of schools could achieve ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, that is now at 86%. The work of my predecessors on skills has meant that, actually, the investment into the skills agenda has gone up to £3.8 Billion and if you talked to teachers around the country and school leader, they know that the White Paper will deliver great outcomes for every child. We set ambitions high for our children all over the country and we know how to get there, and we will deliver against that.