Charles repeats his call for a Government statement on sixth form funding

Charles Walker calls on the Secretary of State to make a statement to the House of Commons on how he plans to make amends for the school sixth form funding blunder.

Mr. Walker: It is a different point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. A month ago, secondary schools in my constituency were notified that their funding for sixth form places was going to be cut. It was rumoured today that there might be a statement from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the state of play in returning that money to the schools. How can we persuade the Secretary of State to come to this House to make a statement on this important matter, which affects all our constituents across the country?


Mr. Deputy Speaker
: I am well aware of how important these matters are, not just to the hon. Gentleman’s constituents but to others. He will know full well that the Chair does not have responsibility for when and where Ministers make statements to the House, but his points are firmly on the record and I have no doubt that those on the Treasury Bench have taken note of them.

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AND LATER IN THE BUDGET DEBATE

Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): I have a lot of time for the Secretary of State—[Hon. Members: “Why?”] Because he is a very nice and honourable chap. However, on 3 March, secondary schools in my constituency were told that they were going to get a certain sum of money to fund their sixth forms. Less than a month later—three days before the new financial year started—£40,000 was removed from each of those schools’ sixth forms. Will the Secretary of State at least answer the concern that I am raising and please get someone to return that promised money to secondary schools in Broxbourne and around the country?


Edward Miliband
: I have respect for the hon. Gentleman, too, but let me say to him that he certainly would not get any money from his party’s Front Benchers. They want to cut money in the spending review. The Chancellor announced money for sixth forms yesterday, and I hope that it will help the hon. Gentleman’s sixth forms.

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