A HEADTEACHER who has been using his own salary to fund a North-East school has warned he could be forced to cut staff if government funding cuts continue.

The school head, who has asked to remain anonymous, has been using his personal funds to pay for equipment and trips for pupils due to continuing budget pressures, and he is also paying a member of cleaning staff who had to be made redundant from his own salary.

'Heartbroken' teachers at the school, in Redcar, have also agreed to take pay cuts and refuse pay rises which they have become eligible for in order to keep budgets under control.

Last night, Redcar MP Anna Turley said schools were in a crisis and were in danger of not functioning, a situation she described as "ridiculous" for the UK.

She also added the Redcar area will have seen a real term education budget reduction of £4.3m by 2020.

The headteacher warned he could face cutting teachers or teaching assistants, forcing classes to merge, or reducing the amount spent on equipment including books and stationery.

He also said the school was "scrambling" money together to offer a mental health counsellor, due to the vast waiting times on the NHS parents were experiencing.

"If the cuts carry on, I will mean two teachers or three teaching assistants losing their jobs," he said.

"We are doing the absolute minimum we have to, but we can't offer the extra opportunities. If a laptop or iPad breaks, it can't be replaced.

"It is heartbreaking for teachers and it is horrible for me to see, we are in a deprived area and opportunities at school are the only chances some of these children have – it is reducing their life chances.

"Parents need to know, we explain situations to them in newsletters but this is the reality of what we are facing."

The Northern Echo:

Ms Turley said: “Our teachers are going above and beyond to try to make sure the children are not affected by the scale of these cuts.

“In one school, a member of staff has suggested that staff were regraded for one day a week to make savings on the staffing costs, whilst two staff members who were eligible to apply to go through the next pay threshold suggested they wouldn’t apply because they didn’t want school spending to increase.

“One of the things that struck me to the core, was when I was told by one head teacher that after make one of the cleaning staff redundant to meet the budget that year, he is now paying that member of cleaning staff from his own salary.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said: “Teachers in Darlington will do everything possible to ensure children and young people receive the very best education but this is becoming more challenging.

“We need to reverse these cuts and give headteachers the resources they are begging for.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We have put an additional £1.3bn into core schools funding, over and above plans set out at the last Spending Review.

“While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we do recognise the budgeting challenges schools face and that we are asking them to do more."