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Theresa May talks Harry Potter books with Birmingham school children

The Prime Minister says she will listen to Birmingham schools' concerns over funding formula cuts

Theresa May has revealed she is a Harry Potter fan and talked about West Bromwich Albion with pupils at a Birmingham school.

The Prime Minister told eight-year-old pupils at the Nishkam Primary School in Handsworth that she had read all of JK Rowling’s wizard adventures.

Discussing books with one pupil who was a Potter fan, Mrs May said: “I’ve read them all. They are all very good.”

Talk also turned to football as one pupil told the Prime Minister about her support for West Bromwich Albion.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail after her tour of the Sikh faith school, Mrs May said she had been impressed with how knowledgeable and articulate the children were.

She added that Nishkam is a very successful school which was created as a result of the Government’s free school initiative.

But across the city schools are facing possible cuts of £20 million a year under an overhaul of the school funding formula.

It means that teachers and staff could be cut, extra-curricular activities cancelled and spending on repairs, upgrades and facilities reduced.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Prime Minister Theresa May meets pupils of Nishkam Primary School in Handsworth

Mrs May replied that lobbying and comments from Birmingham headteachers would be listened to.

“At the moment we’re putting record levels of funding into schools in the country,” she said. “But what you are talking about is the school funding formula.

“I think everybody across the political spectrum accepts that the current way of distributing funding across schools is not fair so we need to find a new way of doing it.

“So we put forward a proposal, we’ve consulted publicly on that and obviously had a lot of responses.

“We will look at those responses and, in due course, decide where to go on this. But the aim is to produce a fairer system of funding across schools.”

She said that if back in Government after the election, the Tories would look at all the responses and consider the best way forward.

“We’re trying to find the right system for the future,” she added.

But the Prime Minister remained tight-lipped about any proposals for education that will be included in the Conservative Party manifesto when it is published later this week.


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