THE education secretary says he will push for more funding for schools in the Government’s upcoming spending review.

Damian Hinds spoke to the Guardian on Friday following a visit to Oak View Academy, in Winsford.

It comes after Esther McVey, Conservative MP for Tatton, spoke out about a two per cent funding increase between 2016-17 and 2019-20 being overshadowed by an eight per cent rise in costs at a Parliamentary debate in February.

Meanwhile, a survey by Mike Amesbury, Labour MP for Weaver Vale, suggested that schools in his constituency have lost £3.4 million from their collective budgets since 2015.

Asked if he will bend the ear of chancellor Philip Hammond for a funding boost in the spending review, Mr Hinds said: “Yes, we need the right resourcing for our education system, for schools, colleges and the rest of the education landscape as well.

“All Government departments will be making their pitch in the spending review. I just think that our pitch is particularly important because education unlocks so much.

“It’s about the future of our society, it’s also about the future of our economy and helping productivity and all those other things we need to work on as well.

“So yes I will be making a strong case for education.”

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School funding has long been a political hot potato in Cheshire, which has historically received lower levels of cash than other parts of the country.

The county’s MPs have repeatedly made the case for a fairer funding formula for its schools, while parents and teachers took to the streets of Sandbach in 2017 to demand fairer funding.

Mr Hinds hopes the new national funding formula will help to bring a fairer system – but admits areas with higher levels of deprivation will still receive more money in the years to come.

He said: “Esther [McVey], Fiona [Bruce, Congleton MP], Antoinette [Sandbach, Eddisbury MP] and others have been very effective advocates on behalf of their constituents here in Cheshire – and rightly so – and I have had a number of sessions with them talking about the funding formula.

“We are addressing the historic imbalances – not just Cheshire, there are other parts of the country which historically for no particular reason had funding levels per child which were different, significantly different in some places, from what was the case elsewhere.

“With the national funding formula over time we are narrowing those differences quite significantly.

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“It doesn’t mean that you’ll ever get to the point where all funding is exactly the same everywhere because there will always be a formula which will reflect things like deprivation.

“But I do think it is right that we are moving towards something which is fair and rational – and then people can see why there are differences, it is not just historical.”

Mr Hinds had been invited to Oak View to see the schools dramatic turnaround from the second-worst performing primary five years ago to one of the best in Cheshire for pupil progress.

That improvement has taken effect since the school was took on by North West Academies Trust in 2014, and under the leadership of Fiona Whittaker, executive headteacher.

Asked if she felt her school could use a cash boost from Government, Ms Whittaker said: “To be fair to all schools, budgets are a challenge.

“Some aspects increase, some decrease, and the challenge is to use the budget that you have got to do the best that you can for the children in school.”

READ > Schools in Weaver Vale lose £3.4m, MP reveals