During the weekly question and answer session, Barbara asked the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, about the improvment in Salford schools' GCSE and Key Stage 3 results over the last year.
"Salford is the 12th most deprived local authority area in the country. In the past, deprivation in our area has been reflected in the level of GCSE and other test results. This year, Salford achieved an 8 per cent. increase in our GCSE results and a 5 per cent. increase in key stage 3 English. Is my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister satisfied with those results, and can he tell me how they can be continued?"
The Prime Minister replied:
"My hon. Friend is of course right: not merely has the Cambridge assessment confirmed the improvement in teaching, but it comes on top of the Ofsted report that confirmed exactly the same. The truth is that teaching is getting better, the results are getting better, and the reason is that this Government have invested in education and changed the education system. So whereas when we came to office just over half of 11-year-olds were getting the right literacy and numeracy results, now the figure is three quarters. That, again, is the difference between a Labour Government who care about education and a Conservative Government who in the years before we came to power cut funding per pupil."