The Liberal Democrat pledge to protect the education budget in England from cradle to college will mean more money available for Welsh schools, Welsh Liberal Democrat Montgomeryshire candidate Jane Dodds has said.
Jane spoke in a debate on education funding at the Liberal Democrats' Spring Conference in Liverpool to stress the positive impact that protecting English education funding levels in real terms would have on Welsh budgets.
She also launched an attack on the Conservatives' failure to match this pledge, and claimed her Tory opponent was “washing his hands of any responsibility” for Welsh education by passing the buck entirely to the Welsh Government.
Watch Jane's speech below.
The text of Jane's speech is below.
"Protecting the education budget from cradle to college is absolutely vital to secure opportunity for everyone.
"Giving our children the best start in life is one of the most important, if not the most important, thing we can do as a country.
"But although this promise applies to the education budget in England, its positive effects will spread to all corners of the United Kingdom - as every extra penny we protect in England sees more money coming to Wales.
"And any of you who's seen the state of our education system after successive Welsh Labour Governments will know how much we need that money.
"Education funding per head in Wales is hundreds of pounds behind that in England, and that's despite the Welsh Liberal Democrat pupil premium which provides extra support for the poorest schoolkids in Wales like its English equivalent.
"Now, the Conservatives clearly don't see the value of protecting this funding.
"My Conservative opponent is washing his hands of any responsibility for the education of Welsh children.
"But he seems willing to forget an inconvenient truth: any changes to the education budget in England has a knock-on effect across Offa's Dyke.
"So it's clear: The Conservative pledge to cut education funding in real terms would see a cut in the funding sent down the M4 to Wales.
"And it's all but inevitable that the Welsh education system would bear the burden of similar cutbacks.
"And all the while, the woefully underfunded Welsh education system would continue to slip down international league tables.
"My rural county of Powys is experiencing a huge education shakeup. Schools in the most rural areas are under threat of closure.
"So, Conference, I call on you to support this motion today - not just for England, but for your friends across the border too."