Question Time Leaders Special: Theresa May asked why Labour cares more about children than the Tories

PM says she will put more money into schools and create 'fairer' funding system

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A school worker has asked Theresa May why she cares "less about the children than a Labour government" after claiming pupils at her school will get £898 a year less in funding.

On the BBC's Question Time leaders special, the woman said: "In the school that I work in, by 2020 every single child in that school will receive £898 per year less than under a Labour government by 2020. My question to you is, why do you care less about the children than a Labour government?"

Last month a think-tank warned school spending plans outlined in the Conservative Party manifesto could see school budgets slashed by 7 per cent.

The Tories committed to increase the overall schools budget by £4bn by 2022, but schools can expect to experience deficits once inflation and student growth numbers are accounted for, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.

It calculated a fall in school spending of almost 3 per cent per pupil between now and the 2021-22 academic year, making for a total cut of 7 per cent between 2015-16 and 2021-22. 

The Prime Minister replied: "I don't care less about the children. There are two things I want to do because I do care about education.

"We will be putting more money overall into the schools, we'll be ensuring the pupil premium is there for those children who are disadvantaged, but we will also ensure that there is a fairer distribution of school funding."

She added: "At the moment, as you probably know, there are some schools that twice the amount of money per pupil than other schools in other parts of the country. I want to see a fairer system of funding and in doing that we will make sure that no school sees a budget cut.

"Getting a good quality education isn't just about the money going into schools. It's about ensuring that we're encouraging people to come into the teaching profession. So we're going to give student loan forgiveness to people who come into teaching and stay in teaching."