Mike Kane MP, Shadow Minister for Schools:
I have to say to the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Sir Simon Burns) that he is not seeing the wood for the trees. The Minister for School Standards recently wrote to the Chelmsford Weekly News about the uplift of 1.9%, which the Secretary of State mentioned, but there is a denial of the wider picture that £66 million is being withdrawn from funding in Essex overall. Will she explain how Chelmsford County High School for Girls, which is estimated to lose £300,000, will make its cuts?
I think I have answered the question from my right hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Sir Simon Burns), but the bottom line is that the only budget that would go up under Labour is debt interest, which would lead to fewer teachers and less investment in education, not more.