Grahame Morris – 2022 Parliamentary Question on Support for Parents and Schools with the Cost of Living Crisis

The parliamentary question asked by Grahame Morris, the Labour MP for Easington, in the House of Commons on 28 November 2022.

Grahame Morris (Easington) (Lab)

What support the Government are providing to help (a) schools and (b) parents with the cost of living. (902428)

The Secretary of State for Education (Gillian Keegan)

I recognise the current challenges faced by families and public services. We know that things are tough out there, which is why we are acting in the national interest and why we have secured funding to increase the schools budget by £2 billion next year and the year after. All education settings are benefiting from the energy bill relief scheme, which will protect them from excessively high energy bills over the winter. In addition, we are committed to supporting the most vulnerable households through the toughest part of the year with additional direct support, and we are supporting schools and parents to make sure that we can all get through this.

Grahame Morris

I, too, welcome the Education Secretary and her team to the Front Bench. I thank her for that response, but I point out that due to runaway costs, schools can barely stay open for five days a week, let alone provide transport. Home-to-school transport is being pared back and public transport, certainly in east Durham, is unreliable and deteriorating. Can she give us some good news and tell us what she is doing to ensure that schools can afford to pay their heating bills and stay open? How will she guarantee access to education during the cost of living crisis?

Gillian Keegan

I can give the hon. Gentleman good news, because we heard in the autumn statement that education will be funded by an extra £2 billion next year and the year after. We will be working through how that will affect schools; each school will get its individual allocation. School funding is £4 billion higher this year compared with last year, and the autumn statement has confirmed that increase, which takes the core schools budget to an historic high of £58.8 billion. That will deliver significant additional support to pupils and teachers and will, I am sure, be welcomed by the sector.