Queen’s Speech Debate: Education

27th June 2017

Speaking in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown calls for fairer school funding for Gloucestershire.

I start by paying sincere tribute to the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Lesley Laird). I can see from her demeanour that she will sincerely and diligently represent her constituents. I also pay tribute to my new hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen South (Ross Thomson). It is great to have both Members in this House: it sends a clear message to the people of Scotland that a referendum to divide this united nation is most unlikely to happen. I am grateful to see them both in this House.

I would like to start where the hon. Member for Glasgow North West (Carol Monaghan) started, and pay tribute to the teachers and governors in my schools. They do a great job on behalf of our children. I was delighted that the Conservative manifesto pledged an extra £4 billion for education over the course of the Parliament. That is an increase in real terms, so there is no reason why any school budget in England and Wales should decrease. Before I am reprimanded by my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh), let me say that I am with him absolutely: we have to live within our means. Austerity only means living within our means.

We in this House have been struggling for too long with an unfair education funding formula. In Gloucestershire, the key stage 3 funding differential means we receive £3,700 per pupil, while the highest spending London authority receives £7,200 per pupil—a difference of £3,400. That cannot be fair. The new funding formula announced in our manifesto will go a long way to ending that unfairness. I was very encouraged by the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education. It seems that she is well on top of this problem. When she publishes the proposals, I believe they will be fairer to less well funded areas like Gloucestershire. Under the proposals published in the previous Parliament, I heard from one of my head teachers that they were going to have to cut £400,000 from their budget, meaning the loss of 14 teachers. That is unacceptable for the children of our county.

I want every child in this country, from nursery school to postgraduate training university course, to have the very best education in the world. That is how this country will succeed in the world, and how we will increase productivity and trade. I pay sincere tribute to both my constituency neighbours in Gloucestershire for two things they have done—one each. My hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Alex Chalk) has secured the real prospect of bringing a cyber-park to Cheltenham, which will bring huge opportunities for our talented and bright youngsters. My hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Richard Graham) has brought university-level training for nurses to the University of Gloucestershire—another real prospect for our youngsters. These are the sorts of opportunities I want to see in our country today.

There is a lot to do in education and there is a lot to do to explain how the money for our schools will be raised, but we owe it to our children. We want to be the world’s best when it comes to education. We welcome the new technical institutions, we welcome the new T-levels, and we want workplace visas for the brightest and best foreign students who come here from around the world.

| Hansard

Earlier intervention in the same debate

I congratulate the Secretary of State on giving way to me. May I commend her on the increase in standards in education? To improve those standards still further—the current funding formula is unfair and depends on a lottery code—does she agree that every pupil and every school deserves fair minimum funding?

As my hon. Friend knows, we are absolutely committed to making sure that we have fair funding across our schools. We had an extensive consultation that received 25,000 responses, which we have gone through. We are pulling together what that means for the right way forward. He is right to point out that many schools in his local community have been systematically underfunded, which is not tenable in a country where we want all children to receive consistent investment and a consistent opportunity to make the most of themselves. We are determined to introduce our plans to ensure that schools are fairly funded, wherever they are.



Please contact 
cliftonbrowng@parliament.uk or 020 7219 5043 to make an appointment.

Cirencester Survey

Download Cirencester Survey

Latest Newsletter

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown opening the new Stratton Court Care Home

I was very pleased to have been invited to the opening of the new nursing home and retirement village at Stratton Court in Cirencester.

17th May 2018

How to raise an issue

Call 020 7219 5043 or email cliftonbrowng@parliament.uk if you wish to raise an important matter with me - but please check "What can an MP do for me?" in the section before making contact.

In some cases a face-to-face appointment/pre-arranged telephone call may be necessary in order to discuss and pursue matters personally.

However, I ask that all cases must first be raised with me in writing by letter or email.

Once initial enquiries have been made on your behalf then I will consider the best and most appropriate way forward in order to help you.


Many people think that their MP exists to solve all their problems for them: this is not the case.

MPs are there to legislate and help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible.

For many matters, the appropriate first step would be to contact your local Cotswold District or Gloucestershire County Councillor.

Stow GP Public Meeting

Verbatim Minutes of the Stow-on-the-Wold Public Meeting to discuss the provision of a new GP surgery – 30 June 2017.


View The Cotswolds in a larger map