HEAD teachers at North-East schools have written to more than 300,000 parents over fears that tighter funding has created a “make-or-break” situation.

The letter urges parents to sign a parliamentary petition to increase budgets and encourages them to write to their MPs.

It started to be distributed on December 7 and suggests that average funding will be down by £189,776 per North-East secondary school in 2019/20 compared with 2015/16.

It reads: “Schools are having to make difficult choices on how to spend their limited funding as their income has not kept pace with the rise in costs since 2010.

“All schools are working very hard to make ends meet but this is becoming increasingly difficult and verging on almost impossible.

“With increased pressures on school budgets and cuts to services that support our most vulnerable young people and their families, it is make-or-break time for our schools.”

The letter, supported by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), also says average funding in the North East is expected to be down by £30,904 per primary school in 2019/20 compared with 2015/16.

Parents are told that, as a result, schools have had to cut back on teaching staff, support for more vulnerable pupils, and free or subsidised extra-curricular activities.

The letter adds: “From March 2018 there has been a very small increase in funding for schools.

“However, this increase has not closed the gap between the funding our school receives and the funding our school needs to provide the number of teachers and resources required to deliver the education all our children deserve.

“If you think Government should fund schools sufficiently and fairly, please show your support.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, said the Government “continues to use misleading figures about school funding and standards”, adding: “This needs to stop, and parents need to be told the truth.”

Peter King, head of the Federation of Mowden Schools in Darlington, said: “School leaders have previously tried to shield parents from the difficulties but because the situation is not sustainable, we now need parents to be fully aware.

“There simply are not the savings to be made that can make up for the huge shortfall in our funding. It feels very unfair to our children and to our staff.”

Mustafaa Malik, head of Harlow Green Community Primary School in Gateshead, said: “Schools have an ever-increasing part to play in supporting children and their wider families, but this is being expected whilst our resources are reducing.”

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.