EDUCATION Secretary Damian Hinds was put to task over school funding when Question Time visited Reading.

Longstanding host David Dimbleby quizzed the panel at The Concert Hall on Thursday and a heated debate erupted over the strain on education resources in the town.

Although Hinds argued there is more money being injected into schools than ever before, disgruntled audience members were not convinced.

All state schools are having to make savings and it was put to the panel that cuts of £281 per pupil were being made in Reading.

The Conservative MP for East Hampshire argued: "There is more money going into schools but there are more demands on schools.

"Budgets are tight and managing them is challenging. Across the board there is more money going into schools than ever before."

The audience member replied: "Not in Reading."

Among the other panelists were Shami Chakrabarti, Alison Phillips and Richard Madeley.

Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, added: "Our young people work incredibly hard and this hard work matters and should be celebrated.

"Sadly, this year, the effort they put into revising - and indeed into school and college work in general - is being undermined by Government cuts, which are leading to a loss of teachers and resources at local schools and which are also hitting further education colleges and other services very hard.

"With teachers’ pay having been cut in real terms by 15 per cent since 2010, as pay rises have failed to keep up with inflation, it is no wonder that staff are struggling to afford to live in the Reading area and that teachers are moving away, leading to a growing pressure on schools.

"To make matters worse funding per pupil has fallen, leading to rising class sizes and less time for teachers to spend with individual pupils."

Hinds said the average-sized class with 27 primary school children was receiving £130,000 funding every year, £10,000 more than a decade ago.