CANDIDATES vying to become Colchester's next MP have been urged to sign a pledge to fix the schools funding crisis.

Funding For Schools, a campaign group of parents, teachers and governors from north Essex, is backing the National Education Union School Cuts campaign, which is calling for the next Government to reverse the funding crisis in schools.

Schools across the county have suffered a funding shortfall of nearly £250m since 2015 – with schools in Colchester taking a £35 million hit.

Although grants to schools have increased, costs have outstripped them and in an attempt to balance budgets, schools have been forced to make staff redundant and to skimp on refurbishments and buying equipment.

Campaigners are asking parliamentary candidates to sign a pledge, showing their commitment to ensuring that schools are funded properly.

Funding for Schools is also urging voters to lobby the candidates ahead of polling day on December 12.

Adele Jennings, spokesperson for Fairer Funding for Schools, said: “We want as many people as possible to help us with our campaign during the General Election.

“We have leaflets and posters for people to hand out, to help us to raise awareness of the dire situation that our schools are in.

“We want people to sign a new petition, set up just for the election period, to show politicians just how many of us care about education and funding for our schools.

“Join us in asking candidates to pledge their commitment and support to schools.

"After the election, we will hold new MPs to their pledge – as we continue to fight for fairer funding for schools.”

The Gazette backed the fight for a commitment of at least 15 per cent more funding per school from the Government.

That is the equivalent of £218,00 per school, with some needing as much as £500,000.

To help the campaign contact Funding for Schools via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.