PM in ‘outright denial’ over schools funding, claims Jeremy Corbyn
Theresa May hit back, insisting funding for schools is at ‘record levels’.
Theresa May is in “outright denial” over schools funding, Jeremy Corbyn claimed as he warned some close early on Fridays and hundreds more crowdfund for equipment.
The Labour leader attacked the Government’s education record during a muted session of Prime Minister’s Questions, in which neither mentioned Brexit during their exchanges.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Corbyn said 26 schools “close early on a Friday every week because they don’t have enough money to keep themselves open”.
He added: “There are more than 1,000 schools across England that are turning to crowdfunding websites with a wish list of things they want to raise money to buy – really exotic things like pencils, like glue, like textbooks.
“Why are they forced to do this if they allegedly have enough money in the first place?”
Mrs May said the Government is putting “record levels” of cash into schools, as well as implementing a “fairer distribution of funding”.
She added: “We are giving every area more money for every pupil in every school.”
Mr Corbyn later criticised Mrs May’s “Orwellian words” such as “fair funding” and highlighted cutbacks to creative arts subjects, noting: “Are the artists and actors of tomorrow only to come from the private schools while she continues to cut the funding for state schools?”
He went on: “When the Prime Minister says school funding has been protected, she’s denying the daily experience of teachers, parents and pupils.
“She’s denying the incontrovertible evidence of the IFS, education bodies and teaching unions.
“She is actually in outright denial.
“When the wealth of the richest 1,000 people has increased by £50 billion in the last year alone, don’t tell us the money isn’t there for our children’s schools.”
Mrs May replied: “The richest have paid more tax every year under the Conservatives than in any year under a Labour government.”
The PM reiterated “record levels” of funding is being put into schools before adding: “What matters is the quality of education our children get.
“Labour oppose the phonics checks, they want to scrap academies and free schools, they want to abolish Sats. That doesn’t help to raise the standards in our schools.”