A GOVERNMENT minister has ignored an MP's request to donate a raffle prize to a fundraiser parents are holding to help a North-East school.

A group of parents with children at Fishburn Primary School in County Durham are trying to get other parents and school staff right across the North-East to join them in campaigning against continuing education budget pressures.

The parents are planning to take a petition to Parliament demanding urgent action to sort out the funding crisis after two teachers were made redundant at the school.

The petition also follows a Northern Echo investigation which discovered schools across the region are facing an “unprecedented” crisis, with headteachers across the North-East and North Yorkshire warning standards are dropping below an acceptable level and cuts are having a “significant impact”.

The parents are being supported in their campaign my Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, who this week raised the issue in Parliament with Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, asking him if he would help support the campaign with a raffle prize.

In response, Mr Hinds said: "It is exceptionally important that schools are properly resourced and it is important we do that through the national funding formula to make sure children get the education they need.

Mr Wilson said: "The parents are organising petitions, fundraising events and doing everything they can to raise the issues facing their local school.

"There is a wider issue here - there is a funding issue in schools and that needs to be accepted.

"We are talking about parents fundraising and this is not about fun trips away, this is about essentials in order for them to function.

"It shouldn't be happening.

"They (the parents) know the teaching staff and all those working at the school are excellent and are doing their best, but now they are deeply concerned."

Speaking about the campaign last week, Scott Akoz, one of the parents behind the campaign, said: "This is just so wrong what is happening, I am not sure all parents across the country are aware of the situation.

"The schools are getting forced into these situations and it is not their fault. It is diabolical that it is down to parents to have to fight

"A child's education shouldn't be about cost – it is their own human right to get the best quality education."

Fishburn headteacher Danny Eason said it was great to have such "passionate" parents at their school.