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Lancaster MP says investment in education is key to economic growth

The Lancaster MP says investment in education is key to economic growth, as she questioned the government in parliament about the matter this week.

Cat Smith raised the plight of Scorton and Calder Vale Primary Schools, citing statistics claiming the majority of Lancashire’s schools faced funding cuts in 2023.

Speaking in the Commons earlier this week, Cat Smith said: ‘’The Headteacher at Scorton and Calder Vale schools, told me that budgets are stretched as we have to pay for a lot of additional services that larger urban schools can provide in house, for example having to hire a village hall for PE, and hiring taxis to deliver meals to school as they have no kitchen.

‘’So, what would the Deputy Prime Minister advise to my headteacher?''

The Deputy PM, Dominic Raab, replied: ‘’Can I say to the Honourable Lady that we’re sympathetic to the challenges all schools face.

‘’She should stand assured that we are the top spenders as a percentage of GDP in the G7 in primary and secondary education, and standards that matter to pupils and parents, with schools rated Good or Outstanding from 68% in 2010 to 87% today.’’

In a statement, Ms Smith added: ‘’Without investing in our children and their education you can’t be realistic about growing the economy.

‘’But also, they only get one chance of school so when schools are having to lose teaching assistants, cut back on trips or even lay off teachers and drop subjects, how is that fair?

In today’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced measures to protect and increase the government’s school budget, pledging an additional £2.3 billion per annum for the next two years.

Mr Hunt also thanked all staff for what he described as their ‘brilliant work in difficult circumstances’, which was why he said he was investing ‘more in a service that defines all of our futures’.

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