A NORTH Yorkshire headteacher has revealed their school is facing a £140,000 black hole in the next two years - a situation described as "impossible" to avoid.

Today, The Northern Echo is revealing the outcome of a special investigation which has discovered schools across the region are facing an “unprecedented” crisis due to a severe shortage of funding.

Headteachers across the North-East and North Yorkshire have warned standards are dropping below an acceptable level and cuts are having a “significant impact” on children, including their mental health and welfare.

Staff at schools across Darlington, County Durham and North Yorkshire have told the Echo their focus is now on balancing the books rather than providing the best education possible, with one warning mass redundancies are inevitable if the situation doesn’t improve, and another saying school buildings require sufficient investment in order to keep them safe.

The North Yorkshire head had admitted unless the Government reviews its approach to funding, teachers will have to be made redundant by 2021.

“I started as a North Yorkshire head teacher about eight years and I have been able to manage a budget throughout that time, but now despite every effort, it is impossible. It is unprecedented.

"By the end of 2021, we are facing debt of more than £140,000. We just can’t do that, and it would mean a minimum of two teachers facing redundancy. It would then result in class sizes of about 40 pupils, which would severely affect the pupils and the teachers.

“The more children in classes the less attention and supervision they receive from the teachers. They also have to juggle more. It can cause teachers to be warn down, burnt out and stressed. There are more pupils coming through the door and more of them with higher needs."

The head also shared the view that teachers are becoming "more like accountants".

“As for our leadership, me as headteacher and my deputy are both taking on teaching roles. We are also taking on PPA because we don’t want our teachers being more stretched.

"That squeezes our time and means we can’t meet all of our leadership roles, we are working on evenings, weekends and holidays. We can’t pay for cover, we have to find it ourselves.

"I know managing budgets is part of the job and I knew that when I took it on, but we are more  like accountants now, but now it is purely thinking about where we can save money rather than where we can spend it to get the best education provision."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Since 2017 the government has given every local authority in England more money for every pupil in every school – allocating the biggest increases to the schools that have been most underfunded.

“This year, funding for schools in the North-East has increased by 2.9 per cent per pupil under the National Funding Formula, compared to 2017-18 funding levels.

“While there is more money going into our schools than ever before, we know schools face budgeting challenges, which is why we have introduced a wide range of support to help schools reduce costs and get the best value from their resources – from a free-to-use vacancy service to cut the costs of recruiting teachers, to advisors who are providing expert help and support to individual schools that need it.

“The Education Secretary has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back head teachers to have the resources they need to deliver a world class education.”