THE Department for Education said it wants to ensure every pound of funding is spent as effectively as possible to give children a "great education".

It comes after headteachers in Carlisle made an unprecedented move to highlight the funding crisis they a faced with.

This week about 10,000 pupils from 33 primary and secondary school in the city and surrounding area took home a letter to their parents explaining the extent of the cuts.

They were being urged to sign a petition calling for an increase in school funding. 

Data published by the House of Commons this week revealed schools in the Carlisle constituency have been cut by £1.3m since 2013/ 2014, which works out as a reduction of £395 per pupil over the six years.

Stoneraise School headteaqcher Clem Coady said: "If we don't reverse the cuts, this generation of children will never get this education back and that's why we're fighting so strongly for it."

Funding for schools in both Copeland and Penrith and the Border has been cut by £2.4m and by £2.6m in Workington since 2013/2014.

School leaders say the situation is unsustainable and unacceptable.

A spokesman for the Department for Education (DfE)said: "We do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face.

"That is why the Education Secretary has set out his determination to work with the sector to help schools ensure that every pound is spent as effectively as possible to give children a great education.”

The DfE said that since 2017 every local authority has been given more money for every pupil in every school.

In 2019/2020 it said Cumbria is receiving £285m in total, an increase of 3.2 per cent per pupil compared to 2017/2018.

When asked about the discrepancy in the two sets of figures the DfE explained that the Carlisle headteachers refer to figures for the parliamentary constituency of Carlisle, whereas it has provided figures for the Cumbria Local Authority as funding for all schools is distributed by local authorities and not constituencies.