Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford, Labour)
The Secretary of State has spoken a great deal about the poorest, but he appears not to understand that no matter how much money is in the schools budget, it is the money in the family budget that matters so much. What would he tell the parents of the thousands of young people in my constituency about their prospects when the £30-a-week education maintenance allowance is cut by his budget?
Michael Gove (Secretary of State, Education; Surrey Heath, Conservative)
I am a great fan of the right hon. Lady, and I know how passionately she fights for her constituents in Lewisham. I also know that she is deeply concerned about differential attainment from poorer children. One thing we are doing with the education maintenance allowance is ensuring that it is effectively targeted on the very poorest. That is the thrust behind our whole review of education spending in order to make sure that more money-£2.5 billion-is spent through the pupil premium on the poorest, while also ensuring that an additional £150 million is spent on children from poor homes as they make a transition from school to university. We are also providing more money for pre-school learning for impoverished two-year-olds.