TEACHERS and governors from Colchester primary schools have frankly told the town’s MP of the “devastating effect” a funding crisis is having on the most vulnerable children.

MP Will Quince attended a meeting arranged by governors from North Primary School and Nursery during a week of action by the National Governors Association.

The week was to raise awareness of the shortfall in schools’ funding which is already seeing many lose valuable staff.

Alan Garnett, head of North Primary School, said teachers and governors from St Michael’s, Kendall, Lexden, Gosbecks and Old Heath primary schools joined his, to take part in a “frank and open discussion” with Mr Quince.

Mr Quince promised to help them with their campaign to increase schools’ funding.

Jan Blackwell, is is the chairwoman of governors at North Primary School, said: “The story was the same from all of the schools.

“We’re losing staff and can’t replace them and it’s affecting our most vulnerable children worst of all.

“We’re all struggling to balance our budgets. The Government says it has increased spending in education but always fails to mention school staffing costs including pension and national insurance contributions have gone up by far, far more.

“We’re seriously worried about the future. We’ve had enough and we’ve all vowed to take urgent action to demand more funding from the Government.”

Mr Quince, who spoke in favour of increases to schools funding in an education debate in Parliament, agreed to help schools in Colchester petition the Government.

He has agreed to draft a petition and has urged governors to get as many signatures as possible from parents in order to raise awareness of the issue.

He has also pledged while to rally support among MPs from all parties, to lobby for increased funding for education in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Issues faced by the schools at the meeting included making learning support assistants redundant, mothballing new classrooms because they can’t recruit extra teachers and postponing refurbishment projects.

Existing staff are trying to plug the gap by taking on extra duties which they are not paid for.